Koichi Takada Architects - Sydney

National Museum of Qatar Gift Shops

“The world’s most beautiful Museum Gift Shop“ Whitney Robinson, ELLE DÉCOR, Editor in Chief

The Dahl Al Misfir (Cave of Light), located in the heart of Qatar, is a beautiful underground sanctuary formed largely from fibrous gypsum crystals that give off a faint, moon-like, phosphorescent glow. Gypsum can appear in formations of clusters, such as the famous ‘desert rose’, but can also crystallize in other forms of fluorescent and translucent shapes, interacting with light and transforming the space, evolving through the day.

The timber walls of the museum shops were inspired by Dahl Al Misfir. Its organic architecture echoes Koichi Takada’s vision of bringing nature back into architecture, establishing relationships that connect people and nature through design. Using a cutting-edge 3D modelling software, Koichi Takada Architects achieved a design of curves and surfaces that words fail to describe.

Imagine putting together the 40,000 wooden pieces of a three-dimensional puzzle? Each wooden piece, CNC-cut in Italy, is entirely unique so it could only fit with its exact complementary piece. They were assembled by hand in Doha by Italian master carpenter, Claudio Devoto and his team of artisans.

The intensity of the design and craftsmanship pays homage to Jean Nouvel’s desert rose inspired architecture and celebrates the natural Qatari heritage of the desert-scape.


  • ProjectNational Museum of Qatar Museum Giftshop and Children’s Giftshop
  • StatusCompleted March 2019
  • Interior designKoichi Takada Architects
  • ClientsQatar Museum Authority
  • Operator/End-UserIN-Q Enterprises WLL (subsidiary of Qatar Museums)
  • Main ContractorIMAR Trading & Contracting
  • Sub-Contractor(Joinery)Devoto Design
  • Sub-Contractor (MEP)Sogelec
  • Lighting FixturesERCO and IBL Lighting
  • PhotographyTom Ferguson Photography
  • VideographyTom Roberts Videography