after winning an international competition in 2012, sydney based practice, koichi takada architects, reveals their interior design for the highly-anticipated national museum of qatar. situated in the capital of doha, the building designed by jean nouvel enjoys it’s grand opening today on march 27th 2019. the concept of the interiors by koichi takada is described as ‘desert-scapes’ and follows jean nouvel’s ‘desert rose’ inspiration for the external architectural expression.
the outdoor terrace of the jiwan restaurant looking over doha bay, all images © koichi takada architects
main image: the jiwan restaurant, located on the top floor of the museum
the idea of creating interiors that represent qatar can be seen throughout the various spaces, resulting in an architecture that is relevant to its context. from the museum shops to the desert rose café, the designs pay homage to not only jean nouvel‘s built form, but also to the local culture. koichi takada‘s design intends to be an embodiment of qatar, from the history of trade and nomadic lifestyles to the stunning natural environment.
the desert rose café located on the ground floor
the organic interiors of the museum shops are directly inspired by the ‘dahl al misfir’ (cave of light), that can be found in the heart of qatar. by using 3D modelling software and countless pieces of CNC-cut timber, the curved walls of these spaces have been constructed. each element has been created to be unique, meaning that they had to be assembled together by hand in doha by italian master carpenter claudio devoto and his team of artisans. the design intends to form a relationship with the local natural environment, while creating an interesting spatial experience that plays with natural light throughout the day.
the organic architecture of the museum shops are inspired by qatar’s ‘cave of light’
located on the ground floor, the desert rose café takes inspiration from it’s namesake. the interior is characterized by soft, ambient lighting and the ‘desert rose’ formations which occupy the space. these rounded shapes are also a direct reference to jean nouvel’s architecture, simply in a much smaller scale. the ceiling has been designed to create a low volume, giving visitors the sensation of entering into a cave. in essence, the café intends to provide a place of relaxation, like an oasis in the desert.
the interior of the desert rose café is a direct reference to jean nouvel’s architecture
located on the mezzanine floor over the main lobby, café 875 has been designed so as to not ‘overwhelm’ the arrival experience intended by jean nouvel, but become an inviting space for visitors to discover. the interior pays homage to traditional qatari gold jewellery, particularly the medallion rings. the rings are represented by the wooden interventions which form seating areas and bar or display units. the name of the café, ‘875’, represents a grade of fineness or purity of gold which is very rare to come across, and is only available in the arab world.
the café 875, located on the mezzanine floor over the main lobby
the jiwan restaurant enjoys panoramic views over doha bay from it’s position on the top floor of the museum. the design embodies qatar’s relationship with the sea and the many traditions which are linked to it, such as fishing and pearl diving. the color and materials of this space have all been selected to portray this cultural heritage, from the aquamarine finishes, to the pearl-like crystal beads that are suspended from the ceiling.
the interior design of café 875 has been inspired by traditional qatari gold jewellery
overall, the new museum intends to become a landmark for qatar. koichi takada comments, ‘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.’
the curved walls of the museum shops are formed from CNC-cut timber
project name: ‘the national museum of qatar’
project location: doha, qatar
architecture: jean nouvel
interior design: koichi takada architects
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