February 2020 No. 221 issue
The interior design of the National Museum of Qatar in Doha sought first of all to resonate with the image of a desert rose that the French architect Jean Nouvel had chosen to give the building, and secondly to ensure an intelligible reading of the intricate journey through the country’s history that the institution offers.
This two-pronged approach involved carrying out a series of actions, the most stunning and technically sophisticated among which is in the museum gift shops, whose sinuous geometries bring to mind one of Qatar’s most noteworthy natural landmarks, Dahl Al Misfir (Cave of Light), a wondrous space characterized by the configurations and phosphorescence of the gypsum crystals that largely mold it. The gift shops evokes the cavern through its forms torn in strata – like an artificial geological cut – and bathed by the light that seeps in through very deep perforations. Forms executed by means of a complex, three-dimensional assemblage thanks to computer design tools, and composed of more than 40,000 pieces of wood.
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