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National Museum of Qatar, Qatar

Wednesday 24 Mar 2010

Desert rose to bloom in Qatar

National Museum of Qatar by WAN Editorial in Qatar
Image by Artefactory, courtesey Ateliers Jean Nouvel 
National Museum of Qatar by WAN Editorial in Qatar National Museum of Qatar by WAN Editorial in Qatar National Museum of Qatar by WAN Editorial in Qatar National Museum of Qatar by WAN Editorial in Qatar National Museum of Qatar by WAN Editorial in Qatar National Museum of Qatar by WAN Editorial in Qatar
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 11

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02/04/10 K, Seattle
Thematically strong, would like to see more of the interiors and traffic flow before I can judge successful.
02/04/10 Ken, San Antonio
Anthony Caro would be proud ! What an incredible piece of sculpture.
02/04/10 MUSTAFA, qatar
i think it will bee the best idea but when it will be ready ....??
01/04/10 Sy Auerbach, F.A.I.A., Chevy Chase, MD
A Rose by any other name "ain't no Rose".
A bunch of petals fallen to the ground "ain't no Rose"
30/03/10 Xavier Valladares, London & Mexico City
This looks like a bad version of the Jetsons Town
30/03/10 jason, adelaide
Agreed. If he is seeking a LEED silver rating from the US Green Building Council, he could try using less material. Looks like a lot of excess waste going into this design for the sake of a fluffy metaphor like suggesting its like the petals of a desert rose... LA DI DA!
30/03/10 farhad, minsk
i almost can agree with previous comment..... at least some new vision of form creation....
it is interesting....
new nouvel...)))
30/03/10 Jonas, KL
haha...what a piece of crap! Only in Qatar will they think this rubbish is the best in architecture, a triumph of style over substance, which is really what the "Middle East" is all about these days
30/03/10 todd, middleburg, va
Wow. Some pretty vitriolic reactions here. Why can't we just enjoy the nice pedestrian-level dimensions of the project, if only as an welcome antidote to the skylines full of buildings that look like giant sex toys?
30/03/10 bill from the southside, S
LEED Silver!!!?? Isn't that the current day version of "meets code" - come on!

Nouvel presents designs for new museum 

With a design inspired by the form of the desert rose, Jean Nouvel presented his plans Wednesday at MoMA in New York City for the new National Museum in Qatar.

Located on a 1.5 million-SF site at the south end of Doha’s Corniche the building takes the form of a ring of low-lying, interlocking pavilions, which encircle a large courtyard area and encompasses 430,000 SF of indoor space.

Designed to balance the Qatari culture and traditions with how the Gulf nation is rapidly changing and modernizing, the National Museum of Qatar’s program will feature entire walls that are cinematic displays and shelter oral-history presentations. Appearing to grow from the ground, 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 just below the desert’s surface.

The museum is a modern-day caravanserai, which is the traditional enclosed resting place that supported the flow of commerce, information and people across desert trade route, Nouvel said in a statement.

“From here you leave the desert behind, returning with treasured images that remain engraved on your memory,” he said. “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.”

The National Museum of Qatar building will provide 86,000 square feet of permanent gallery space, 21,500 square feet of temporary gallery space, a 220-seat auditorium, a 70-seat food forum / TV studio, two cafés, a restaurant and a museum shop. Separate facilities are provided for school groups and special guests. Staff facilities include a heritage research center, restoration laboratories, staff offices and collection processing and storage areas. A 1.2 million SF landscaped park that references a Qatari desert landscape will surround the museum.

The interlocking disks vary in curvature and diameter and are composed of steel truss structures assembled in a hub-and-spoke arrangement and are clad in glass-fiber, reinforced-concrete panels. Columns concealed within the vertical disks carry the loads of the horizontal disks to the ground.

Glazed facades fill the voids between the 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 sunlight.

Like the exterior, the interior features interlocking disks. Floors are sand-colored polished concrete, while the vertical disk walls are clad in ‘stuc-pierre,’ a traditional gypsum- and lime-blended plaster formulated to imitate stone.

The museum galleries will be organized around three themes: the natural history of the Qatar peninsula, the social and cultural history of Qatar, and the history of Qatar, from the 18th century to the present.

The building, which is seeking LEED silver rating from the US Green Building Council, will include thermal buffer zones within the disk cavities to cool the structure, while the overhanging disks will shade the outdoor promenades and protect the interior from light and heat. Steel and concrete will be locally sourced and fabricated. The landscaping will feature sparse native vegetation with low-water consumption.

Jennifer Potash
News Editor

WAN Editorial

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