Today we are talking about an unusual Architect and his eccentric projects, renowned to defy any kind of classification: French architect Jean Nouvel! His experience and capacities were the recipients of many prestigious awards, such as Aga Khan Award for Architecture – given for his creation, the Institute du Monde Arabe in 1989 – the Wolf Prize in Arts in 2005, and the significant Pritzker Prize in 2008 among the most important ones. Jean Nouvel is notorious for his outside-the-box thinking and marvelous buildings: many critics tried to classify or give a possible description of his style, but his projects rebel against any classification. He is always challenging pre-established models or rules, reinventing the diverse genres all the time. Are you ready to know more about his last project? Keep reading INSIDE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF QATAR BY JEAN NOUVEL!


Jean Nouvel studied at École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and started his first architecture practice in 1970. He was a founding member of Mars 1976 – whose aim is to oppose corporatism in architecture – and Syndicat de l’Architecture. His practice, Les Ateliers Jean Nouvel, is an international-renowned firm that manages different kind of projects, from museum and theatres to hotels and office buildings. His attitude makes him the perfect choice for unconventional projects in which, as the Pritzker Prize jury said “persistence, imagination, exuberance, and, above all, an insatiable urge for creative experimentation” are the essential theme for all his work.


The NATIONAL MUSEUM OF QATAR BY JEAN NOUVEL opened this year in Doha and it perfectly summaries all the best qualities of Jean Nouvel’s works: the inspiration for the 430,000 square feet building came from the desert rose whose specific form has been recreated through the interlocking disk design chosen by the famous architect.

The result is a majestic building that highlights the connection with the land and his nature, in line with Qatar Museums’ purpose – shaping its own future and reconnecting with the country’s traditions at the same time. If the outside displays a naturalistic influence, instead the indoor space suggests a more futuristic approach – with walls becoming cinematic displays and hand-held mobile devices that guide visitors through the exhibitions – and suggests the contradictions within Qatar’s history and his view of the future.

The cutting-edge attitude shown by Jean Nouvel created a multisensorial experience within the building, where the spaces created and recreated by the disks are really geometric one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Vertical lines were abolished: going from one room to the next the visitors become surprised by the sudden variation of the tilting, interpenetrating disks that form the floor, walls, and the roof of the NATIONAL MUSEUM OF QATAR BY JEAN NOUVEL.

The emphasis given by the French architect to colors and shadows has been reinvented by the loop-shaped circuit where a central part – the Howsh – is a sheltered part where outdoor activities, such as exhibitions and events, can be held, thanks to the shadows created by the original architecture.

The building is extremely efficient: Jean Nouvel imagined a site that would be a natural addition to the desert life with a glass fiber-reinforced concrete in a sandy beige that can be found everywhere, even indoor, and few windows built out of the sun’s way. The outcome is an extremely energy efficient structure, that defies the desertic rigid rules. A true visionary building from a visionary architect!

Did you enjoy reading about NATIONAL MUSEUM OF QATAR BY JEAN NOUVEL? If you did, check out our other articles about interior designers’ projects!

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