Koichi Takada Architects - Sydney

National Museum of Qatar Gift Shops

Interior and entrance of the Dahl Misfir (White Cave) in Qatar.

A forgotten retail experience

As a key participant in the interior design of Jean Nouvel’s National Museum of Qatar which opened in March 2019, we completed several spaces including the Museum Gift Shop and the Children’s Gift Shop. The floor area of the Museum Gift Shop is 174-square meters, while the Children’s Gift Shop measures 97-square meters. The NMoQ is the first national museum in the world to receive both a LEED Gold and a 4-star sustainability rating.

Developing his ideas on the basis of conversations with the client Sheikha Al Mayassa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, we visited the Dahl Al Misfir (Cave of Light) which is located in central Qatar. This cave, known to all Qataris, is formed from fibrous gypsum crystals that give off a faint phosphorescent glow. The Gift Shop design makes use of soaring, curved and layered wooden surfaces and does indeed recall a desert cave with natural light coming from above, as is the case in the Dahl Al Misfir.

No less than 40,000 individual pieces of sustainably sourced European oak were designed with 3D modelling software, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) production in Italy, and inserted in numbered order into a rib-like steel structure. We worked in this instance with the complex architectural design of Jean Nouvel, inspired by an enlarged vision of the desert rose. Like the building itself, our spaces draw on the desert landscape of Qatar for their inspiration.

  • 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