National Museum of Qatar, Doha

IQ Distinction 2018


Client Qatar Museums

Project Manager ASTAD

Architect Ateliers Jean Nouvel

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ASTAD provided Project and Construction Management consultancy throughout the development of the museum, ensuring the Client’s vision of an iconic, world-class building that complements the palace of the former ruler of Qatar, Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani is brought to life.

For more information about the design philosophy by French architect Jean Nouvel please click here.

One of the Middle East's most iconic landmarks, the National Museum of Qatar's design reflects the desert rose, commonly found beneath the sands of the Gulf region where it forms in the briny layer just below the desert surface. The palace is the landmark centrepiece that the National Museum of Qatar is being built around.

Located along the Corniche of Doha, Qatar, the project has a total gross area of 40,000m2 and provides 8,000m2 of permanent and 2,000m2 of temporary gallery space.

The design is an organically propagating series of interlocking disks that surround the structure, creating a ring of gallery spaces circling a central court. Inspired by the desert rose, the interlocking disks that compose the building are representative of petals, each positioned at different angles. The disks are made of steel truss structures assembled in a hub-and-spoke arrangement, clad in glass fibre reinforced concrete panels.

The building bears a resemblance to a “caravanserai”, a traditional enclosed resting place across desert trade routes which will be used as a space for museum visitors and for outdoor cultural events.

The desert rose form is representative of the culture and climate of Qatar. The building, like the desert people whose story it tells, utilizes light and shade, and flowing movement. It appears to grow out of the ground and blends seamlessly with its surroundings. Deep overhangs create cool shady areas for outdoor promenades and protect the interior from light and heat. The sand-color, concrete cladding is a perfect fit for Qatar’s dusty, humid environment.

The building is truly iconic.