Koichi Takada Architects - Sydney


Qatar’s new $610-million museum was inspired by desert rose crystals


16 April 2019

by Liam Freeman


NMoQ is the embodiment of that idea. Opening two years later than originally planned, amidst the ongoing diplomatic crisis, the building was designed by Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker-winning French architect behind the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Philharmonie de Paris – in the likeness of a desert rose crystal (pictured below). Interiors were designed by Sydney-based Koichi Takada Architects, who also created Jennifer Hawkins’ waterfront home.

Comprising an array of curved discs, the spontaneity of the structure continues in the museum’s interior. Forsaking the white cube format of many galleries, the undulating walls make it impossible to hang works and so video projections are an integral feature. The permanent exhibitions – which tell the story of Qatar through music, poetry, oral histories, archaeological objects and commissioned artworks – are arranged into three chapters: “Beginnings”, “Life in Qatar” and “The Modern History of Qatar”.


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