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Here’s Qatar’s thrilling supersized museum

The futuristic, sand-coloured structure is located near Doha's airport highway.

DOHA:  National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) opened its doors to the public on Thursday.

Designed by Jean Nouvel, the Pritzker Prize-winning French architect, the multifaceted structure resembling a giant desert rose sits across from the bustling Doha Corniche, the main waterfront promenade in the Qatari capital.

The futuristic, sand-coloured structure, located near Doha’s airport highway, is likely to be among the first buildings visitors will spot when arriving in the city.

The 52,000 square-metre building had previously been slated to open more than two years ago, but the inauguration was delayed while the museum’s management team reviewed the accessibility of the building.

The museum is designed as a free-form space, in a way that does not include doors, and is meant to offer visitors a fluid experience as they move through time, space and themes.

Nouvel, who also designed Abu Dhabi’s Louvre, said the building is a symbol of Qatar’s culture and tradition.

“This is not just an open exhibition space,” Nouvel said at a press briefing in Doha ahead of the opening.

“This is a building with various dimensions – high and low ceilings – a combination that is expressive and unique in the world,” he said.

Nouvel said his team had to meet enormous challenges to construct a building with “great curved disks, intersections, and cantilevered angles”. – With input from agencies  

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