Location: Doha, Qatar
Construction cost: $720,000,000 USD
Initial reaction to the Qatar National Convention Center concept, especially the support columns, was that they resemble underground tunnels made by desert animals. In that sense, it's very relevant to the landscapes surrounding Doha. However, the architect, Arata Isozaki, envisioned the concept based on the Sidra Tree (with lots of artistic license thrown in, of course). The Sidra Tree represents learning and growth, and were traditionally gathering spaces for scholars and poets to exchange knowledge; Yamasaki Architects (best known in the US for the old World Trade Center buildings) did their homework.
Kudos to the effort in seeking LEED Gold- a first in the region and about time somebody set the trend. But the landscape design sucks; looks like an airport terminal and is all that turf water-efficient?