Located in Qatar’s capital of Doha, the National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) is an institution that celebrates the culture and heritage of Qatar and embodies the pride and traditions of its people while offering international visitors a dialogue about Qatar’s rapid change and modernization. The National Museum of Qatar generates a national spirit of participation and promote a cultural legacy.
The museum honors the traditions of the past, while embracing the future of Qatar through exhibitions, educational activities, cultural site visits, and technology-based programming.The museum aims to develop, promote, and sustain the cultural sector at the highest standards, in addition to creating, supporting, and inspiring the next generation of cultural audiences. The museum is divided into three chronological chapters of Qatari history that are showcased across eleven galleries. The galleries include a research center and laboratories that provide new study opportunities for students and dedicated researchers.
“Everything in this museum works to make the visitor feel the desert and the sea,” said Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect who designed the innovative museum. Nouvel’s design was inspired by the Qatari “desert rose” with its curved disks, intersections, and cantilevered angles that grow organically around the original Emiri palace, a much-loved local landmark where the original National Museum was housed. Not to be confused with the plant of the same name, the Qatari “desert rose” is a natural phenomenon found in the deserts of Qatar where arid conditions create these unique clusters of gypsum crystals underground.
Nouvel hopes the design will have visitors questioning the mysteries of the desert’s concretions and crystallizations, bringing new meaning to the desert rose, all the while marveling at the Museum’s employment of futuristic design and modern innovation. “This building is at the cutting-edge of technology, like Qatar itself,” remarked Nouvel.
When planning the design of the Museum, Nouvel envisioned a site that would symbolize the growth and evolving identity
of Qatar since the 1950s. It is for this reason that the Palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani sits in the center. Originally built during the early 20th century by Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim bin Mohamed Al-Thani, the Palace has served as both a family residence and the seat of government.
“…from a little village, [Doha] has become a capital. What could be more natural, then, than the desire to testify, to talk about identification, about the evolving identity of this country as it reveals itself on the sensitive paper of history? And what could be more logical than to give concrete expression to this identification process in a National Museum of Qatar that will relate the physical, human and economic geography of the country, together with its history?”
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