Erik Behrens’ Al Wahda Arches: Bridging Qatar’s Past and Future
of Qatar The most important landmark, the Al Wahda Arches, stands at a height of 100 meters, making a general infrastructure corridor an integral part of the nation’s identity and the most iconic public works of art in the world. It was designed by the German architect Erik Behrens. AECOMdual steel The arches intertwine on the Lusail Highway as a unifying symbol of the country’s nationalist pride, forward-thinking vision and rich pearl-diving heritage.
The best movement experience, as travelers pass through the Al Wahda junction, the sculpture seems to transform kinetically in dynamic displays of changing light and perspective for an unforgettable kinetic viewing experience.
Al Wahda Belts | image courtesy of Ashghal
towering steel arches form a monumental gateway
Erik Behrens’ immersive Al Wahda Arches redefine the concept of a monument to a new level that extends beyond traditional figurative objects and mere structural brilliance. The public artwork stands as an elegant fusion of neo-futuristic design with traditional beauty, inspired by the loop and net of Qatar’s traditional pearl divers’ backpacks and the country’s proud maritime cultural heritage.
During the day, the cable net with more than 500 flake-shaped cable clamps reflects sunlight reflecting off the Persian Gulf, creating a dynamic glow effect. At night, the arches illuminate Doha’s skyline and seem to rise from the ground like diving bags once used to extract pearls from the water.
By instilling a gripping element, german architect It encourages a distinctly dynamic interaction between the Al Wahda Arches and the audience. Drivers experience a cinematic viewing experience as they approach the intersection and drive around, through or through it. The sculpture creates a poetic kinetic experience by constantly changing its form and appearance from every changing point of view.
100 m high arches intertwine on Lusail Highway | Image courtesy of Ashghal
a nationalist identity symbol
The construction was completed in 2020 amid the Gulf Blockade and the ensuing diplomatic crisis. In difficult times, it has developed a sense of community and has become an optimistic emblem of identity, solidarity, and the ability to progress and realize the vision of the nation. What’s more, the intertwined wide arches sit at the crossroads, serving as a gateway between Qatar’s historic city and the newly promising innovation hub of Lusail.
For AECOMErik Behrens envisions the sculpture’s form as a new monumental icon, consisting of two curved steel arches and an interconnected network of cables. The large arch is 147 meters wide and just under 100 meters high, while the small arch is 140 meters long and 78 meters high. Each arch is inclined 20 degrees, and the foundations of the arches are located within the traffic islets on both sides of the underpass and ad-grade intersection.
two curved steel belts connected by a cable net | Erik Behrens’s photo