Qatar is a peninsula surrounded by sea water. Its pulsing heart is Doha, the capital city situated exactly where desert and sea meet. In the last few decades Doha has radically changed, turning from a small fishermen village into one of the most dynamic cities in the world.
Ateliers Jean Nouvel won the competition for designing the architectural and iconic symbol of this young country on the Persian Gulf: the National Museum of Qatar. The project aims at telling the origins and history of Qatar and the designated location is nonetheless the point where everything started: the Al Thani family palace.
The architectural concept design focuses on showing what is hidden, on revealing a history that hasn’t had the chance to leave a trace behind yet.
The architecture and structure of the museum symbolize the mysteries of the desert phenomena of concretion and crystallization, reproducing the stone petals of the desert rose. The selected materials (steel, glass, fiber concrete, acrylic resins) express a significant inclination towards the contemporary, tempered by the permanent contact with both desert and sea.
The result is a location of 40.000 square meters, including the 8.000 square meters dedicated to the permanent collection, the 2.000 square meters dedicated to temporary exhibitions and showcases. Next to them, a 220-seats auditorium, 2 restaurants, a café, 2 shops, a food forum, a R&S center and laboratories and also a big garden with native plants.
Devoto Design took care of the engineering and manufacturing of 86 items of the museum among which we have the two big info desks with their sculptural presence, the kitchenettes and laboratories, consisting of workstations and closets for the staff. The project is strongly characterized by the choice of a customized sand beige acrylic resin, marking the plastic aspect of this design. Every item was strictly and constantly monitored during its manufacturing process, from the strict FSC procedure and the purchase of the raw materials to the installation onsite.