The National Museum of Qatar finally opened its doors to the public in March 2019
The National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) by Jean Nouvel joins a growing list of new museums in the Middle East. The building's winding, 1.5km-long gallery path is designed as a journey through a series of environments, each describing an aspect of Qatar's history through architectural space and exhibits including music, poetry, oral histories, aromas, archaeological objects, commissioned artworks and monumentally scaled art films. Its 11 permanent galleries take visitors from the formation of Qatar's geology to its development as a modern country.The 52,000sqm (560,000sqf ) museum is built around the restored historic Palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, the son of the founder of modern Qatar, and was based on a desert rose crystal formation.
"To imagine a desert rose as a basis for design was a very advanced idea, even a utopian one," Nouvel says. "To construct a building with great curved disks, intersections, and cantilevered angles – the kind of shapes made by a desert rose – we had to meet enormous technical challenges. It is a total object: an experience that is at once architectural, spatial, and sensory, with spaces inside that exist nowhere else."Photos. Iwan Baan