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Great maloutim 2010-01-03 22:49

Hi Achim!
This is a fine aerial view; the shape of the new polder is very elegant. I suppose it's still under construction? Do you know what is planned to be built on it?
I just hope they won't follow in Dubai's footsteps!
Happy 2010!
Marie Louise.

Old 01-05-2010, 07:56 AM
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John_F_Kennedy John_F_Kennedy is offline
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Default To maloutim: Museum of the Islamic Arts

Hello Marie Louise
many thanks for your comment. I would like to send you some more details of the building.

The Museum of the Islamic Arts, Qatar, is an imposing building set on an artificial building of Doha's Corniche. The building, which opened to the public in December 2008, showcases a selection of Islamic artefacts, many of which are both ancient and historically significant.

Although the museum features Islamic Art, and is built using Islamic design, the building was actually designed by Chinese American architect Leoh Min Pei (more commonly known as I. M. Pei,) designer of the Louvre in Pyramid and one of the most celebrated architects in the world today.

Pei, who at 90 years old had to be lured out of retirement to undertake the work, then travelled across much of the Islamic world studying its architecture, and in designing the Museum I. M. Pei drew inspiration from Islamic buildings such as Ibn Tulun's mosque in Egypt (the inspiration for the actual architecture came from the 13th century sabil (ablutions fountain) of the mosque) and the Al Hambra Palace in Spain.

The result is an imposing white museum, consisting of a blend of modern and traditional styles, and designed so that the cubic shapes of the museum, which descend from the dome in changing geometric patterns, will interplay with the sun and the shadows.

To protect against the harsh sun, the heat and the salt heavy sea water, Pei selected a stone which could resist all these elements: the Shamisen stone from France. A crescent cape located in front of the museum offers further protection from the sea.

The interior is decorated with grey Porphyry stone and Brazilian lacewood, and the lights are kept dimmed to protect the treasures within.

Pei decided to locate the museum on an artificial island (a 60 meter causeway lined with palm trees links it to the Corniche) adjacent to Doha's port - he chose an island so that the museum would never be overshadowed by development on the sea front.

The project has a full size of 45,000 square meters, and is protected from the sea by a concrete crescent cape. Behind the museum a landscape of dunes and oases is being constructed to offer a backdrop to the stone clad construction.

The Museum showcases artifacts that the Al Thanis - Qatar's Royal Family - have been collecting for many years. The collection of artifacts for the Museum has stepped up in recent years, with vast sums being spent on Islamic Art, although more recently the buying has been hit by scandal over the vast sums spent.

As well as the Qatar National Collection of Islamic Art - a collection of metal work, ceramics, jewelry, woodwork and glass collected from three continents - the Museum will include 600 year old artifacts of ivory and silk inscribed with Islamic and Arabic inscriptions.

Examples of exhibits to be shown include panels lined with gold thread that decorated the imperial tents of Iran and Central Asia in the thirteenth century, as well as a curtain decorated with calligraphy that lined the walls of Al Hambra in fifteenth century Muslim Spain. Audio tours in different language accompany the exhibits, allowing staff to keep labelling to a minimum.

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