FLOFORM BlogCelebrating the Beauty of Desert Landscape through Architecture
Architect Jean Nouvel has spent his entire career trying to bridge the gap between the futuristic visual arts of the West and the conventional aesthetics of the Middle East. In his recent design for the National Museum of Qatar, which will also be showcased at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Nouvel attempts to preserve the rich culture of the native Bedouins of Qatar.
Bedouin culture comprises of very intangible artefacts such as hand paintings, tents, and hand stitching. As such, Nouvel aims to reconnect the younger generation, which has been subdued to heavy American influence, to this beautiful and unique culture. Inspired by sand roses that crystallize just below the sand’s surface at odd angles, Nouvel’s built models feature disc-like roofing held together by intertwined pavilions that appear to rest lightly on the land, a reflection of the ethereality of desert life.
Under the disc-like roofing lies a plethora of outdoor terraces that resemble ancient shelters built along trade routes.
Form a bird’s eye view, the myriad of plummeting discs recreate the apparent haphazard confusion of desert dunes.
The lopsided arrangement of the discs echoes the contemporary architectural concepts of heterogeneity and openness. The ultra-thin disc edges emphasize the lightness of the overall structure, creating the illusion of flowing space.
Nouvel aims to replicate in the museum, the experience of witnessing the beauty of the desert first hand. Consequently, tents, textiles, fishing boats, and even moving images will be erected in the center of the museum to create a ‘gateway’ to the desert.
Source: The New York Times Website