Affected deeply by the revolution of February 2011, Libya Design wanted to focus on ‘the power of human endeavour’ by creating a structural reminder of how far Libya has come since then, and how change has allowed progress to prevail
In June last year, Doshma opened its doors opened its doors in the cultural heart of Tripoli. Conceived by Libya Design, the centre has gone on to establish itself as a hub of creativity where art can be exhibited, ideas can be expressed and the people of Libya brought together in a setting where they can eat, drink and relax. “Doshma is an architectural response to a country’s struggle,” says Walid El-Turki (RIBA), chairman and co-founder, Libya Design.
Chief architect for the project, Libya Design was founded by El-Turki together with Muftah Abudajaja in 2011. An innovative international architecture and graphic design practice based in Libya and Belgrade with a supporting office in the UK, its work is defined by Libyan culture and heritage, on a variety of scales and across a wide range of sectors.
These influences can be clearly seen at Doshma, which measures just 140 sq-m. Its simplicity and functionality in its form comes from the literal translation of its name — ‘bunker’ — which informs the arched shape. The materials used for construction also reflect the spirit of the revolution in their ‘back to basics’ approach.
The architects felt it was important to build “as it had been during the revolution”, where men and women used whatever materials were to hand. This informed the material selection and welding process that constructed the arched aluminium of the roof, which was the same process used to build defences by the Libyans.
“This is a space influenced by an important event in which change was inevitable,” explains Abudajaja, who is CEO and co-founder of Libya Design.