National Museum of Qatar

Australian architect studio Koichi Takada were tasked with designing a gift shop to match an exterior design by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel


At the end of any museum, the gift shop can sometimes feel like a tacked-on, uninspired necessity. However, the gift shop at the National Museum of Qatar feels like the exact opposite. With its unique and awe-inspiring design, the two gift shops designed by Australian architect studio Koichi Takada feel like a whole separate experience.


The two shops form part of the larger National Museum of Qatar, which was designed by renowned French architect Jean Nouvel. Nouvel worked on the museum between 2003 and 2019, and spoke about the design of the project as a whole.


“The museum occupies a vast area. From the moment you step inside you’re struck by the relationship between the form and the scale, between the theme and the different eras ... As you walk through the different volumes, you never know what’s coming next in terms of the architecture. The idea was to create contrasts, spring surprises.”


The gift shops, designed by Australian architect studio Koichi Takada, continue this theme. The wooden walls are crafted with 40,000 pieces of wood and the structure was designed using 3D modeling. It was then assembled by hand in Doha by Italian carpenter Claudio Devoto, and now forms part of an iconic architectural and cultural touchstone in Qatar.


Speaking to Dezeen Magazine, Koichi Takada stated that “designing the interiors of the National Museum of Qatar was an opportunity to create a unique experience for visitors to immerse in Qatar’s cultural heritage ... Each interior space offers a fragment of the Qatar history, that aims to enhance and fulfill both a cultural and memorable experience for museum visitors.”


The design is based on a 40-metre-deep cavern in central Qatar – the Dahl Al Misfir. IBL worked with Koichi Takada to illuminate the stunning wooden design and highlight the unique qualities of the space. Using a mixture of linear profile and downlight fixtures, IBL were able to highlight the curving, hypnotic patterns of the wood, ensuring those who enter the gift shop feel a sense of awe and wonder at the stunning design.


The result is an iconic and unique experience, expertly illuminated – a gift shop like no other in Qatar, let alone the world.


Click here for more photos of the project.


Quotes, project information and photos courtesy of, and Dezeen Magazine. Photos by Tom Ferguson.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019