National Museum of Qatar / Jean Nouvel

, Artefactory, © Ateliers

Jean Nouvel‘s new National Museum of Qatar utilizes technology to create a thoroughly new institution.  Entire walls become cinematic displays and hand-held mobile devices guide visitors through the thematic displays of the collections.  Located on a 1.5 million-square-foot site at the south end of Doha’s Corniche, it will be the first monument travelers arriving from the airport will set their eyes upon.  Conceived as growing out of the ground, the building uses rings of low-lying, interlocking pavilions, to encircle a large courtyard area and encompass 430,000 square feet of indoor space.  Tilting, interpenetrating disks define the pavilions’ floors, walls and roofs,  and the exterior in a sand-colored concrete.  Nouvel likens it to a “bladelike petal of the desert rose, a mineral formation of crystallized sand found in the briny layer just beneath the desert’s surface.”

More images after the break.

National Museum of Qatar, Artefactory, © Ateliers Jean Nouvel
National Museum of Qatar, Artefactory, © Ateliers Jean Nouvel
National Museum of Qatar, Artefactory, © Ateliers Jean Nouvel

National Museum of Qatar, Artefactory, © Ateliers Jean Nouvel

National Museum of Qatar, Artefactory, © Ateliers Jean Nouvel

National Museum of Qatar, Artefactory, © Ateliers Jean Nouvel

National Museum of Qatar, Artefactory, © Ateliers Jean Nouvel

As seen on Abitare.

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "National Museum of Qatar / Jean Nouvel" 31 Mar 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Sep 2014. <>


    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      It’s V-ray if you want to be precise. They used the standard Vray sky, that’s how this can be seen.

      Not very professional.

  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Attractive approach, but give us some truth before we start drooling over this thing please !

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It seems like a very one dimensional concept, something reminiscent of basic concept development exercises for first and second year students, as Hunter stated. Planes create the floors, roof, walls, and they move.

    Honestly it resembles ten flying saucers that crashed at the same point.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    @ Hunter, BP:
    There seems to be a tendency in bashing any design with bolder plastic intentions these days. Whereas this can be positive in a world overwhelmed of Gehrys and Hadids and Libeskinds, we should be more sensitive and recognize a truly original work. The ability involved in divising habitable inner spaces using the same recurring shape is truly remarkable, a feat of abstraction ability! Few of us (probably none of us writing critics in this page) have such an amazing brain. For this alone this project is already remearkable.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      There is one problem with your theory – there are NO plans or sections here so you CAN’T tell if the spaces are habitable or functional.

      SO at the moment this project is exactly a bunch of shapes ONLY, which doesn’t need too much brainpower to create and could be completed by the said ‘undergraduate intern’.

      You have just IMAGINED these habitable spaces – they are NOT here – admit this to yourself and move on.

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0

        These are renderings of a BIM model, not some thrown together conceptual work. There are spaces in there, and they work.

      • Thumb up Thumb down 0


        …and you say this based on…your belief in Nouvel…as I understand. Because AGAIN there are NO plans or sections here.

        ALSO the wireframe doesn’t look like a BIM model – you can see just the conceptual saucers, NOTHING inside.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Doesn’t seem up to the finesse of Nouvels’ recent work, more like a dropped stack of dinner plates.

  5. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    And they propose doing the roof how exactly? Various ways I suppose but how will they make it not look terrible? Something without a profile I suppose but even then….the white render makes it look more flattering than it will be in real life.

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Looks like an architectural joke.
    I agree with the suggestion that it was made by an intern first year student.

  7. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    Very beautiful project. Nouvel will deliver.
    Will be an absolutely stunning building to experience.
    Technically difficult to build, but the Emirates can handle this.
    Quality of building excellent there.

  8. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    the 2000´s jean nouvel is going wroooong, this could be donde by absolutelly any architecture student, eaven not an architect at all…


    btw, there are some ruins arround, what about the context?

    saaad again

  9. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I think this is a solid concept. Since it is Jean Nouvel, before saying something let’s try to understand the context first.

  10. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    one of the worst concepts i have seen, esp from Nouvel? maybe in realisation it becomes something special, but as is, i’m so so not convinced

  11. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    It is a work in progress…. I see the construction almost daily. From the outside obviously.

Share your thoughts