Australian Financial Review
13th March 2019
by Stephen Todd
When architect Koichi Takada received an invitation to participate in the international competition to design interiors for the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ), in Doha, he didn’t quite believe it. That was nine years ago, and having just set up his Sydney studio, the only public spaces Takada had completed were a few small (albeit beautiful) fast-food franchises in suburbs such as Sutherland and Maroubra in NSW – hardly hotspots on the international design radar.
It was an incredible opportunity, he quickly learnt: the museum itself was being designed by Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker prize-winning visionary behind the Musée de Quai Branly in Paris and the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Of course he would submit his ideas for the interiors. But when Takada and his team saw Nouvel’s sketches for the building, they were – quite simply – bamboozled.
“It was just so complex,” Takada recalls, with what still sounds like awe. “There were no straight lines, it was all curved, it was impossible to understand it in 2D.” For Takada and his team, a lot of guesswork was required to even begin to comprehend Nouvel’s vast, incredibly intricate vision of the museum.
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