Nearly a mile long, created from elegant disk shapes, the National Museum of Qatar just opened, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel. Meant to house some of the most important history of the Middle East, the museum is a major addition to the Doha skyline, and a significant piece of international architecture. Nicknamed the “Desert Rose”, it’s a striking and unique design. In the lead up to the 2022 World Cup taking place in Qatar, major architectural additions like this help to bring this country firmly into the 21st century.
“Taking the desert rose as a starting point turned out to be a very progressive, not to say utopian, idea. I say ‘utopian’ because, to construct a building 350 meters long [1,148 feet long], with its great big inward-curving disks, and its intersections and cantilevered elements—all the things that conjure up a desert rose—we had to meet enormous technical challenges,” shares the acclaimed architect. “This building is at the cutting-edge of technology, like Qatar itself.”