Football and the World Cup are not the only focus in Qatar. Several new museums have been completed in recent years, including the spectacular National Museum of Qatar, designed by Jean Nouvel.
In the Middle East, it is no longer uncommon to find a museum with an extravagant look, and the new National Museum of Qatar fits this trend. The building was designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Jean Nouvel, who also oversaw the Louvre in Abu Dhabi. Its distinctive shape was inspired by the mineral desert rose. Its exterior façade is made up of intersecting off-white circles of fiberglass-reinforced concrete, which also serve to provide shade from the scorching desert sun.
The museum was built in a cultural quarter, next door to the equally impressive Museum of Islamic Art, which was the work of I.M. Pei only a few years before his death. The National Museum of Qatar was completed, including the design phase, in more than a decade, and its appearance and collections represent the Arab country’s past and future ambitions.
Photos: Iwan Baan