FR-EE takes off in the Middle East

Sian
Monday 18 Feb 2013

Designs for Photography Museum in Middle East revealed by Fernando Romero


These outstanding images are renderings of Fernando Romero Enterprise’s (FR-EE) latest building concept: PH Museum in the Middle East. This remote cultural building has been likened to a flying saucer by internet users while others have commended its ‘elegant design’ (Babak Fassihi via Design Boom).

The definitive location of the building is yet to be confirmed by FR-EE who are currently only referring to the site as 'Middle East', however links on the firm's website include the location Doha.

The main bulk of the 3,800 sq m museum takes the form of a large canopy, shading visitors from harsh sunlight beneath a circular overhang. Romero has taken his cue from ‘the mechanics of a camera’, falling in line with the functionality of the space as a museum of photography and photographic equipment.

FR-EE explains: “Inspired by the mechanics of a camera, the organization of the museum reflects the complexity of a camera lens. The interior is organized radially from the center of the building and a spiraling ramp connects these spaces to emphasize spatial continuity.”

Traditional Islamic styles have also played a major role in the formation of FR-EE’s concept, with hexagonal patterns on display throughout. The architects suggest using local stone to clad the building in thin panels, a practice which will enable them to achieve the intricate patternwork shown in these renderings.

The handling of natural light is always an important element in the creation of a new museum facility and the design studio demonstrated an impressively sensitive introduction of daylight in their Soumaya Museum in Mexico City.

In this sparkling silver construction, natural light penetrates the uppermost floor through an immense skylight, casting kaleidoscopic shadows across those exhibits less affected by the properties of sunlight.

A similar approach has been taken at the PH Museum project. Planned perforations in the stone panels which cover the lobby area will allow daylight to enter the interior and cast a latticework effect within. The level of light allowed to penetrate the exterior façade will vary depending on the sensitivity of the materials displayed inside.

Sian Disson
News Editor

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