Koichi Takada Architects’ scope for the National Museum of Qatar in Doha is nearing completion after 8 years in the making, after winning an international competition to design the interiors in 2012. The grand opening on Wednesday 28th March revealed the much anticipated and captivating designs by Koichi Takada Architects, including its Museum Shops and Desert Rose Café, with the anticipated opening of Café 875 and Jiwan Restaurant later this year.
Located on a 1.5 million-square-foot site at the south end of Doha’s Corniche, the National Museum of Qatar will be the first monument visible to travellers arriving from the airport. The exterior of the National Museum of Qatar was designed by French architect and Pritzker prize winner, Jean Nouvel. The forms and materials used by Koichi Takada Architects aim to respect and complement Jean Nouvel’s architecture.
Principal Architect, Koichi Takada, explains,
“Talking to H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa and to the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) has opened my eyes to a culturally rich way of life, which has inspired me. They passionately talked about the iconic nature of Dahl Al Misfir (Cave of Light), located in the heart of Qatar, and introduced me to the ritual of majlis floor dining, a bit like my favourite childhood memory of Japanese tatami floor dining. Designing the interiors of the National Museum of Qatar was an opportunity to create a unique experience for visitors to immerse in Qatar’s cultural heritage; the traditional and historical past, and its development into a modern state as the cultural hub of the Middle East.”
The interior design concept “desert-scapes” was carefully curated to create a local cultural experience for visitors, while bowing to Jean Nouvel’s architectural masterpiece:
“The architecture is a representation of the desert rose mineral formation; a connection to nature. Each interior space offers a fragment of the Qatari history, that aims to enhance and fulfil both, a cultural and memorable experience for museum visitors.”
The design of the Interiors by Koichi Takada Architects in the National Museum of Qatar is a Narrative of the Qatari history. The designs are an embodiment of the Qatari history, the beginnings of the trade, nomadic lifestyle and beautiful natural environment. Through many conversations with the local Qatari people, the designs evolved to translate a story into a visual design and memorable experience.
“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, we 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.
1. Piarottolegno Spa - Timber Finishes (Walls, Joinery) - Solid European Oak
2. Rubio Monocoat - Timber Coating - Coat Of Rubio Monocoat Oil, White-Wash + FR Primer
3. ERCO – Lighting – Ceiling LED
4. IBL Lighting –Lighting – Linear LED