National Museum Of Qatar

by | 25. Jul 2012

Cultural | Feature

Photo © Atelier Jean Nouvel


The National Museum of Qatar, like a desert rose, appears to grow out of the ground and be one with it.


Photo © Atelier Jean Nouvel

Embodying the pride and traditions of Qatar’s people, while offering international visitors a dialogue about rapid change and modernization, the National Museum of Qatar will be the setting for a program in which entire walls become cinematic displays.

Though built around an historic structure, the Fariq Al Salatah Palace, which had served as a museum of heritage since 1975, the National Museum of Qatar is conceived and designed as a thoroughly new institution.


Photo © Atelier Jean Nouvel

Located at the south end of Doha’s Corniche, where it will be the first monument seen by travelers arriving from the airport, the building takes the form of a ring of low-lying, interlocking pavilions, which encircle a large courtyard area.


Photo © Atelier Jean Nouvel

In its organization, the building suggests the image of a caravanserai – the traditional enclosed resting place that supported the flow of commerce, information and people across desert trade routes – and so gives concrete expression to the identity of a nation in movement.

This museum is a modern-day caravanserai. From here you leave the desert behind, returning with treasured images that remain engraved on your memory. The National Museum of Qatar will become the voice of a culture, delivering a message of modernity, metamorphosis and the beauty that happens when the desert meets the sea.
/Jean Nouvel

Photo © Atelier Jean Nouvel

The tilting, interpenetrating disks that define the pavilions’ floors, walls and roofs, clad on the exterior in sand-colored concrete, suggest the bladelike petals of the desert rose, a mineral formation of crystallized sand found in the briny layer just beneath the desert’s surface.


Photo © Atelier Jean Nouvel


Glazed facades fill the voids between disks. Perimeter mullions are recessed into the ceiling, floor and walls, giving the glazing a frameless appearance when viewed from the outside. Deep disk- shaped sun-breaker elements filter incoming sunlight.
The Museum will be surrounded by a 1.2 million square foot landscaped park that interprets a Qatari desert landscape.

At this unparalleled new institution, Qataris will be able to discover more about their immediate ancestors and their roots in the region, learn about the formation of Qatar’s early cities and above all be exposed to the historical, material culture and intangible heritage represented in the collections.
/Peggy Loar, Director of the National Museum of Qatar



Drawing © Atelier Jean NouvelConcept Drawing



Model photo © Atelier Jean Nouvel



CITY Doha Corniche