The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha that welcomes visitors with an alluring architecture and gathers Islamic arts under one roof, came into service in 2008. You begin taking steps into the Islamic civilization as you walk slowly in the shade of date palms. Doha Museum of Islamic Art greets its guests with its distinct architecture that resembles a “woman in burka” by the sea. The works collected from across three continents and numerous civilizations Islam has ruled over for centuries, await for you to explore.
AN ALLURING ARCHITECTURE
Located in the pearl of Gulf Bay, Qatar’s capital of Doha, Museum of Islamic Art was built by Prizker Award winner architect I.M. Pei. Doha Museum of Islamic Art that attracts attention with its alluring architecture, hosts its visitors as an embodiment of geometrical figures. Structure positioned on an artificial island made by filling the sea away from Doha’s skyscrapers, is an oasis in the desert. At the same time a crescent-shaped breakwater was built to protect the building against potential damage of the waves. The structure boasting angular forms facing different directions, retains sunlight at all hours of the day. So one can witness a feast of sunlight here. World-famous architect Pei closely studied the architectural structures in Islamic countries before launching the project, and was particularly influenced by the public fountain in the courtyard of Tolunoglu Mosque in Cairo. This led to museum, inspired by ancient Islamic architecture, gaining a modern atmosphere. The use of the Turkish triangle at museum interior also adds depth to the structure.
CENTURY-OLD ISLAMIC CIVILIZATION
Doha Museum of Islamic Art that fascinates with its architecture, is home to invaluable Islamic artefacts. The interior is designed by a team led by JM Wilmotte of Wilmotte Associates, and the museum hosts artefacts collected from across Islamic geography which date back to the period between 7th and 19th centuries. One witnesses the magnificence of Islamic civilization with artefacts from Abbasid lands, Spain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Caucasus, India, Central Asia and Anatolia. It suffices to enter the museum to go on a historical journey surrounded by Islamic artefacts. Rare Holy Koran manuscripts from the Islamic civilization that ruled over three continents, the oldest astrolabe, the key and covers of Ka’aba, and a page of from Shahnameh, the masterpiece of Persian literature are exhibited. It is also possible to observe Turkish influence in the venue. Kütahya tiles are the leading valuable artefacts from the Ottoman period. Next to tiles, Ottoman swords, Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent’s edict and Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror’s portrait are displayed in the museum. In the museum where you can see the superb accumulation of the Islam world, paintings that feature mainly illuminations, ceramics, glass and metallic artefacts, fabrics and precious jewels are exhibited. There is also a library in the museum where you can closely examine the works of Arabic culture and other cultures. You can also join the art and calligraphy workshops in the venue. The museum that is one of the foremost cultural institutions in the world is undoubtedly influenced by the quality and diversity of collections preserved in a modern architectural masterpiece.