This Newly-Opened Museum in Qatar Takes on the Architectural Elements of a Desert Rose


The $434 million-dollar project, the National Museum of Qatar, has opened its doors this past weekend for the first time. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the museum is inspired by a naturally-occurring formation called a desert rose, a flower-like crystallization of minerals that occur within the Qatari desert. Nouvel re-imagined this nature-created structure with 539 intersecting discs, positioned horizontally and vertically, and varying in shape, this “petals” encompass the building with their sandy-colored hue.


Among the center of this massive facade is the newly restored palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, son of the founder of modern Qatar. NMoQ’s eleven galleries of music, poetry, art, film and archaeological objects take the viewer across three chapters of Qatari history, Beginnings, Life in Qatar, and Building the Nation. From the formation of the peninsula millions of years ago, to the newly-presented architectural wonder, the Connecticut-sized country is proving it’s importance in a global scale.

Words: Paola de Oliveira
Photography: Iwan Baan