Liwan's unique location in the heart of Msheireb connects it to Qatar's growing creative community. The building is one of Doha's most beautiful mid-century designs. Built in the 1950s and named after the serene courtyard at the centre of the space, it once housed the first all-girls school, Banat Al-Doha, later renamed Um Almo'mneen.
The school shut its doors in 2005, leaving behind five decades of progressive impact on the local community. In 2019, it was commissioned to become a creative hub as part of the numerous conservation efforts in Qatar.
An Arabic word meaning courtyard.
'Liwan' is named after the airy courtyard of the building. In Qatar, most buildings before the 1970s had a courtyard, a culturally significant element as it was a communal and central space where people gathered. The courtyard also contributed as an architectural feature, creating sufficient airflow through the building and strategically providing shade from the overhead sun.
The building is in a mid-century modern style composed of two floors connected across a central courtyard. Similar to mid-century homes and buildings at the time, it is characterised by flat planes, large glass windows, and open space. The building integrates with nature via its large and airy courtyard, and there is a simplicity and minimalism that runs throughout the fabric of the structure.