UFO-Like Design Unveiled For Qatar Museum
The Qatar Museums Authority is showing off the design for the new National Museum of Qatar. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel has created a building that is designed to be like a desert rose, growing out of the ground and harmonious with it. A desert rose is a mineral that forms in the desert with curving petal-like blades that resemble the flower.
At the National Museum of Qatar entire walls will become cinematic displays and hand-held mobile devices will guide visitors through the museum. It is built around the Fariq Al Salatah Palace, which had served as a museum of heritage since 1975. The museum will be located at the south end of Doha's Corniche and will be the first monument seen by travelers arriving from the airport. Rings of disc-shaped pavilions which encircle a large courtyard area. The discs will be formed of wheel-like steel truss structures clad in glass-fiber-reinforced concrete panels. There will be a total of 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. The Museum will be surrounded by a landscaped park that interprets a Qatari desert landscape.
The complex will seek LEED Silver certification and will be built to work with the environment. Thermal buffer zones within the disk cavities will reduce cooling loads and the deep overhangs of the disks will provide shade and protect the interior from light and heat. The steel and concrete used in the building will be locally sourced and/or fabricated. The landscaping will feature sparse native vegetation with low water consumption.
In the Qatar Museums Authority press release Nouvel said: "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."