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The National Museum of Qatar takes its design from the desert rose

Jean Nouvel designed the museum.

February 22, 2019 |
Aerial view of the Museum of Qatar

Courtesy Jean Nouvel

The National Museum of Qatar is set to celebrate its grand opening on March 28, 2019. The 560,000-sf museum, designed by Jean Nouvel, incorporates the restored historic Palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, the son of the founder of modern Qatar.

The design, which was inspired by the blade-like petals of the desert rose, features large interlocking disks of different diameters and curvatures that surround the historic palace. The museum’s design is meant to make the visitor feel a part of the surrounding desert and sea, according to the project’s architect.


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The museum is organized as a chronological sequence of galleries that will take visitors on a 0.9-mile walk through immersive, multisensory experiences. The museum incorporates visitor movements and the paths they will take into its museology. Galleries contain artwork from Qatari and international artists; rare and precious objects such as geological and archaeological artifacts, tents, saddles, and boats; documentary materials; and interactive learning opportunities.

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