The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) at Savoy Place has a new addition to its 17 meeting and events rooms, following its role as the official House for the Qatar Olympic Committee.
Agency WRG Creative Communication, who carried out the two-week conversion, punched a hole in the roof of the venue’s third floor to install a lift that took guests up and out onto an Arabic-themed roof garden.
The lift will remain as part of the IET and will give visitors the chance to marvel in some spectacular views across the River Thames.
Bringing Qatar to London during the Olympic Games was a particular challenge, as the sporting spectacle clashed with Ramadan. The National Olympic Committee therefore needed a dry House where, after people had broken their fast in the evening, they could come together and celebrate, eat and feel a part of the Qatari Olympic family.
The majority of the House was also open to the general public. It served as a way of introducing Qatar as a leisure and business destination.
As visitors entered, they were shown into a traditional Arabic place of welcome and offered mint tea or an iced drink. From here, guests could enter an exhibition, exploring the cultural, educational and economic ambitions of the region.
The opposite side of the building was dedicated to Quatari sport. An exhibition detailing the country’s sporting ambitions and heritage explained how the World Cup in 2022 will feature venues cooled by the sun and how four Qatari women became the first female athletes to represent Qatar at this summer’s Olympics.
There was also a screening room for guests to watch the sporting action. In the evenings, the screening room hosted a cultural entertainment programme, featuring film nights, arabic music and fashion shows.
On the second floor, a media centre and office suites were available to committee members and press. Whilst on the third floor, WRG Creative Communication built a restaurant, available to NOC members, athletes and their families.
Qatar House was open from 3pm until 3am throughout London 2012. IOC members, senior royals of the Qatari Royal Family, arab athletes and other dignitaries and guests enjoyed the lavish Arabic surroundings whilst the public had their misconceptions about the country and its people quashed through an educational experience that was superbly put together in historic surroundings.