This contemporary museum is inspired by the Islamic architectural principles of light, geometry and water. Built on reclaimed land off the coast of Doha, the island museum comprises a five-storey main building and an education centre with a courtyard in between. The main building is monolithic limestone apart from the glass curtain walling to the north, facing the Arabian Gulf. The plan form is a square surmounted by an octagon and then a circle, which is the dome above the atrium. The dome’s facets reflect sunlight from the oculus, a play of light enhanced by chandeliers. Fountains and mist gardens complete the traditional Islamic references.
al-Asad, Mohammad. 2012. "Cultural Projects: An Enthusiastic Embrace". In Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East, 68-97. Gainesville: University Press of Florida
Beginning at the end of the first Gulf War, the Middle East entered a new era of architectural and urban development defined by increased levels of globalization and private sector investment. In the decade that followed, the region was home to a wealth of architectural projects that challenged conventional thinking about architecture and the Middle East itself. Mohammad al-Asad provides an in-depth examination of an abundance of these projects, from homes and schools to hotels and religious centers. Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism in the Middle East examines the economic, political, and cultural context in which the projects were created. The book’s photographs bring attention to previously unaddressed aspects of modern Arabic architecture, highlighting local talent emerging throughout the region.