NATIONAL MUSEUM OF QATAR, Doha

 

Architect:   Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Paris
Architect of record:   QDC - Qatar Design Consortium, Doha
Museography:   Renaud Pierard Studio, Nantes
Client:   Qatar Museums Authority
Occupant:   National Museum Qatar
Completion:   2019
Project size:   7,000 sqm (exhibition area, divided into 11 galleries)
Overall building budget:   390 million euros
Photos:  

Danica O. Kus

     
Videos:   YouTube >>


 

Blossoming Light in Expressive Room Sculptures – An Orchestration with High Contrast Lighting for the Permanent Exhibition of the National Museum of Qatar


With its ceremonious inauguration, the National Museum of Qatar opened its gates on March 27th 2019 after more than 10 years of design and construction. The breathtaking architecture of the 40,000 square meter large annex by Pritzker Prize laureate Jean Nouvel was inspired by a sand rose. For the permanent exhibition, Licht Kunst Licht developed an architecturally integrated light narrative that suspensefully accompanies the visitor through the natural and cultural history of the Gulf state.

The exhibition is characterized by exhibits in diversified display cases, video projections and screens. The visitor moves between very different, yet adjacent visual realms, requiring a powerful orchestration of the exhibits and spaces.

Thus emerged the concept of two light layers: The illumination provided by glare controlled adjustable luminaires in the ceiling and the emphasis of individual exhibits in show cases with integrated and largely invisible miniature luminaires.

The flush recessed pinhole spot lights, adjustable via handheld remote control, maintain a specific distance from projections and screens as well as from show cases with integral lighting. Free standing exhibits and highly transparent displays, on the other hand, were emphasized with brilliant light from the ceiling.

Three different beam angles are used – spot, medium and flood, combined with optical accessories if and where required. The placement of the appropriate light photometries in the highly sculptural spaces occurred with the assistance of a virtual 3D BIM model and detail sections.

Each lighting solution is therefore carefully adapted to the respective show case's location and contents. Some displays occupy an entire space, others intertwine with walls or floors, or become large magazines of shelving.

All lighting equipment inside the show cases are modular: A live profile accommodates concealed miniature spotlights and linear light inserts, that are placed and aimed accordingly.

As a whole, the orchestration of the various themes involves all senses of the visitors, who are practically absorbed by the exhibition by quality of the abundance of impressions.