Twelve museum galleries along with two additional galleries will be housing temporary collections of caravanserai courtyard which will host activities and programmes for guests and families.
The Jean Nouvel masterpiece scheduled to be completed will also be exhibited, a heritage research centre will serve as a library to people, while two restoration/conservation laboratories will be for collection processing and storage.
At an exclusive tour for local media around the facility on Monday, Khalid al Ibrahim, Chief Strategic Planning Officer at Qatar Museums (QM), pointed out the interesting highlights of the structure and how it pays tribute to both the rich past and present of Qatar and its people.
“Archaeological objects and artefacts that tell the early life of Qataris, the connection of the people to the sea and the desert and how they have evolved will be showcased at the galleries of the museum. The objects will give visitors a clear picture of how our ancestors lived and how we have evolved since then. It will bring to life both the Bedouin life of our ancestors and the contemporary life of Qataris to the visitors as they walk through the galleries. The museum will, however, not only give a detailed picture of our past and present but also a glimpse of our future”, the QM official said.
He added that the collections will be informative and will be along with the educational workshops and programmes.
The new museum will have a 300 sqm auditorium with 220 seats for special events for events like movies and lectures. It will also feature a caf` overlooking the main lobby that can seat 100 people, two museum gift shops, facilities for school groups and special guests, administrative offices for about 150 staff, two outdoor coffee shops and a landscaped park with children playground activities.
The museum has some of the best technologies in the world, while the structure retains Qatar history by being built around the country’s first national museum and the original palace of Qatar’s old ruler Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim al Thani. The palace which served as the seat of Qatar’s government for over 25 years has been purposely preserved to be at the heart of the new National Museum and will be visible to those driving through the Corniche, he said.
“The old palace which is the old museum is still here. It’s in the heart of the new museum. It has been planned deliberately like this to show that while we Qataris are proud of our past, we look forward to our future with hope,” he added.
Speaking about the architecture, Ibrahim said that interlocking disc design of the exterior is reflected until through the interiors and called the museum as a masterpiece inside out.
“When they see the exterior of the architecture, a lot of people think that the discs are there but when they go inside, they find a plain building. But as you can see, it’s not. The objective is to give the appropriate experience as guests walk in and out of the building. You need to feel the internal features that resemble the desert rose and when you walk in you cannot forget this feeling. It has to be continuous feeling upon entering and exiting the building,” he said.
Hundreds of ‘culture pass’ members are welcomed from across the nation after its opening last week. More than 1,400 people have so far signed up for the opportunity to explore the remarkable and distinctive building with a total of 50 tours scheduled to take place through August 21.
“These 50 tours actually mark an end to the external works of the museum and the start of the internal works. The National Museum team is going to be closing the doors of this museum in order to start their work on storing the collections within the museum. And at the same time, it is the start of our pre-opening campaign that will continue till December 2018,” said Ibrahim.