The National Museum of Qatar won the international award for ‘Façade Design and Engineering of the Year’ at the ABB LEAF (Leading European Architecture Forum) Awards, held at the Royal Horseguards Hotel in London recently, Qatar Museums (QM) has announced.
The museum designed by world-renowned French architect Jean Nouvel is due to open in December 2018. Its interlocking discs are inspired by the desert rose and evoke the life of the Qatari people between the desert and the sea.
The Astad-managed museum will combine historic objects and contemporary influences, opening up a dialogue around the impact of rapid change. It will give voice to Qatar’s heritage whilst celebrating its future.
“Recognitions of this level reaffirm our commitment and attention to detail throughout the development of complex mega projects,” Astad chief executive officer Ali al-Khalifa said. “We have been working together with QM to ensure the highly complex National Museum of Qatar is brought to life safely and sustainably.”
“I am confident it will soon prove to be one of the Middle East’s most iconic landmarks,” he stressed.
QM chief executive officer and chairperson’s special adviser Mansoor bin Ebrahim al-Mahmoud said the highly anticipated museum will be a thriving hub for the public, students, and museum professionals.
“It will redefine the role of a cultural institution, fostering a spirit of participation and providing the conditions for discovery to thrive,” he added.
The design of the museum is an organically propagating series of interlocking disks that surround the structure, creating a ring of gallery spaces circling a central court, according to al-Mahmoud.
“It will include permanent and temporary galleries, a 220-seat auditorium, two cafes, a restaurant, a gift shop, separate facilities for school groups and VIPs, heritage research centres and conservation laboratories,” he noted.
The museum is built around Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim al-Thani’s original palace, one of Qatar’s most recognisable landmarks and a building that served as a monument to a historic way of life in Qatar. This palace has a unique historical significance for the State of Qatar and has been recently fully restored. The palace will be a fitting central exhibit within the National Museum when it opens.