foster + partners has revealed images of the ‘lusail towers’, a landmark project in qatar that is envisioned as the catalyst for a new central business district. the 1.1 million-square-meter development, which comprises four high-rise buildings, will host the headquarters for the qatar national bank, qatar central bank, and qatar investment authority alongside several other global organizations including qatari diar. the project also seeks to create a new downtown district that is sensitive to the climate and linked to a new transportation hub. the project is part of a larger masterplan also designed by foster + partners, which is being completed ahead of the country’s 2022 football world cup.

foster partners lusail towers
all images © TMRW



located at the end of the grand boulevard that links the new football stadium to the corniche, the two taller towers stand at 70 storeys, while the other two are 50-storeys-high, all arranged symmetrically around a central plaza. the design was influenced by climate, creating an intimate human-scale streetscape while responding to the city on an urban scale. foster + partners carried out the architectural and environmental design alongside structural and MEP engineering for the entire project — an integrated approach that was crucial in delivering a complex project within a demanding fast-track schedule. ‘from the outset, we established an innovative approach by creating a single platform that communicated design changes in real-time, enabling our integrated team work cohesively and at speed,’ explains luke fox, head of studio, foster + partners.

foster partners lusail towers



the team deployed an in-house software system called ‘hermes’ that coordinates design data for the project and facilitates sharing of this data in real time across different applications, disciplines, organizations, and locations around the world. using specially created plugins for the different software applications used by architects, engineers, and other consultants, design changes made by one group would automatically and instantly be available to the digital models being used by others. ‘one of the most valuable contributions ‘hermes’ has made to our design process is to eliminate the need to manually rebuild models for different purposes,’ adds adam davis, partner in the applied research and development team at foster + partners. ‘it allows us to work seamlessly across disciplines, facilitating prompt discussions between all the relevant individuals.’

foster + partners unveils plans for aluminum-clad 'lusail towers' in qatar



clad in marine-grade aluminum, the tower façades are designed in response to the sun with projecting profiles that wrap around the building, shading the glazing from the harsh sun, while preserving views out and daylight. the architects explain that the active systems design proposals include: centralized thermal storage using innovative phase change materials to reduce cooling energy, high pressure hydronic systems to reduce pumping energy, demand controlled ventilation to reduce fan energy, efficient LED lighting and advanced automation controls which contribute to reducing the site energy demand by 35% when compared to a baseline building. meanwhile, in response to water scarcity in the region, grey water, rainwater, and condensate is recycled and reused on-site for irrigation and toilet flushing.


at the base, several podium buildings surround each tower, with shops, cafés, and restaurants that help animate the public realm. these buildings feature molded concrete panels, giving the buildings a high thermal mass, with minimal punched windows that reduce the amount of solar heat to the interior spaces. see other architecture projects in qatar on designboom here.



project info:


name: lusail towers

location: lusail, qatar

architect: foster + partners

renders: TMRW