After eight years in the making, the National Museum of Qatar has officially opened, revealing Koichi Takada Architects’ stunningly designed interior architecture. The Sydney-based design firm won an international competition to design the interiors of the Doha museum in 2012.
Koichi Takada’s interior design offers a nice complement to the museum’s exterior architecture. French architect and Pritzker-prize winner, Jean Nouvel, is responsible for the satellite-like, disc-shaped exterior, which was inspired by the desert rose mineral formation. Koichi Takada’s design concept of ‘desert scapes’ offers an ode to Nouvel’s daring creation.
The National Museum of Qatar tells the story of the small Middle Eastern nation. The galleries flow across three ‘chapters’; Beginnings, Life in Qatar and the Modern History of Qatar. Designed to be immersive and visually striking, the 11 galleries offer visitors a memorable and engaging experience.
As well as the gallery spaces, Koichi Takada Architects crafted the museum shops, cafes and restaurant. Each space features a distinct design with inspiration drawn from significant Qatari locations and artefacts. The timber walls of the museum shops take their form from the Dahl Al Misfir (Cave of Light), which is found in the heart of Qatar. Cafe 875, which overlooks the museum’s main lobby, was inspired by traditional Qatari gold jewelry – particularly the medallion rings. The Desert Rose Cafe is, of course, a direct reference to the museum’s exterior architecture. Its sand-coloured palette and collection of desert rose formations pay homage to the Qatari landscape.
Principal Architect, Koichi Takada said, “The National Museum of Qatar will be the next ‘Bilbao Effect’ and Jean Nouvel’s masterful design is a seeker of architectural magic. The museums desert rose inspired space is a mirage within which visitors will lose a sense of time wandering between the past and future. The National Museum of Qatar will give a voice to Qatar’s cultural heritage whilst celebrating its future identity.”