Jean Nouvel Unveils Designs for Qatar Museum

25 March 2010 (Last Updated March 25th, 2010 18:30)

Plans for the new National Museum of Qatar, as part of a modernisation programme by Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), have been unveiled by architect Jean Nouvel. The building design incorporates Qatar's identity and is located in a 1.5-million-square-foot site south of Doha's Corniche.

Plans for the new National Museum of Qatar, as part of a modernisation programme by Qatar Museums Authority (QMA), have been unveiled by architect Jean Nouvel.

The building design incorporates Qatar's identity and is located in a 1.5-million-square-foot site south of Doha's Corniche.

Shaped like a desert rose, the museum appears to grow out of the ground with low-lying, interlocking pavilions encircled by a 1.2-million-square-foot courtyard with 430,000ft² of indoor space.

Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel said the museum was a modern-day caravanserai.

The building will provide 86,000ft² of permanent gallery space, 21,500ft² of temporary gallery space, a 220-seat auditorium, a 70-seat food forum / TV studio, two cafes, a restaurant and a museum shop.

Other facilities include a heritage research centre, restoration laboratories, staff offices, and collection processing and storage areas.

The structure, made up of vertical and horizontal disks, is made of steel truss structures and are clad in glass fibre-reinforced concrete panels while glazed facades are placed between disks.

The presence of perimeter mullions give the glazing a frameless appearance from outside, while deep disk-shaped sun-breaker elements filter incoming sunlight.

The floors are sand-colored concrete and vertical disk walls are clad in stuc-pierre.

Within the disk cavities, thermal buffer zones reduce cooling loads and other disks create outdoor promenades with shaded areas to protect the interior, QMA said.

The museum is expected to achieve LEED Silver rating for incorporation of sustainability measures such as use of locally sourced steel and concrete, and low-water-consuming plants in the landscaping.