Iwan Baan Photographs Jean Nouvel’s National Museum of Qatar

New photographs by Dutch photographer Iwan Baan of the Jean Nouvel-designed National Museum of Qatar have been published, as development carries on in Doha ahead of its expected December 2018 opening.

The building’s form will blend historic objects and contemporary influences, setting up a dialogue about the impact of rapid change. The museum seeks to give voice to Qatar’s heritage, while celebrating its future.

“Everything in this museum works to make the visitor feel the desert and the sea,” said Jean Nouvel in a statement. “The museum’s architecture and structure symbolise the mysteries of the desert’s concretions and crystallisations, suggesting the interlocking pattern of the blade-like petals of the desert rose.”

When finished, the museum will cover 21,000 square meters, containing permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a 220-seat auditorium, a 70-seat forum, a heritage research center, conservation laboratories, collection stores, and offices, as well as catering facilities including two cafes, a restaurant, and a boutique.

The museum is presently being built around the original palace of former Emir of Qatar Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani, essentially the most well known landmark in Doha. Fundamental to the museum’s design approach had been a desire to make the visitor feel immersed in both the desert and sea, strengthening the impact of the historic nomadic artifacts on display.

“It will spark an awareness that could only otherwise be encountered, experienced, after months spent in the desert, in pursuit of the particularities that elude our grasp except when the whims of Time and Nature allow… from there you leave for the desert and you return from it bringing back treasures: images that remain forever engraved on your memory.” -Ateliers Jean Nouvel