The Museum of Islamic Art Building Your Name Your Professor's Name CON 101 August 6, 2013 Abstract This paper examines the technical and socio-cultural aspects of the construction of the Museum of Islamic Art, Doha. The research examines the project in-depth and critiques the social and cultural element…
The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Islamic art and culture goes back 1,400 years ago to the years of the Prophet through to the eras of the Caliphs and Ottoman Empire. Qatar has been known for the oil boom which led to massive and large scale construction works in the country in the past three decades. Many landmark buildings have been built within this period in strategic locations to maintain the unique features of the region. The Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) is located on the south end of the Doha bay and it is a major building located on the edge of the Doha harbor and it has unique and distinct features that makes it a might build that depicts Islamic arts in architecture, usage and construction. Project Initiation and Location The Museum for Islamic Art was designed by the architect, Ioeh Ming Pei who blended Islamic tradition and monumental modernism to create the structure (Ourousoff 31). The project was commenced in 2004 when the Qatari government announced the desire to build a major structure that will reflect Qatar's bid to become the cultural center of the Arab world (Skinner 1). Actual work and construction activities commenced in 2005 and this ultimately led to the completion of the project in 2006. The project reflected Qatar's quest to present itself as one of the most prosperous economies in the Islamic world with the highest gross domestic products per capita in the world (Skinner 1). This was reflected in the magnitude of the project and the resources committed to its completion. The location of the MIA in the city of Doha also makes it an extremely distinct work of engineering because it required a cross-functional role that involved marine engineers aside the normal construction site to ensure that the project remained within reasonable range. The project is located on a newly created Peninsular or man-made island that is protected by a seawall just off the harbor of Doha in the south of the city (Ourousoff 33). The project is meant to blend a set of different elements and present the Qatari nation and the Islamic world on an exceptional pedestal. First of all, the building involved an architecture that reflected elements of Medieval Arabic architecture that incorporated elements of palaces amongst great Arab leaders. Secondly, the building involved important and carefully calibrated to provide exhibitions for various categories of Islamic history and culture. This include the arrangement of exhibition spaces, galleries, library and an auditorium. The venue is meant to exhibit elements of various stages in Islamic history and will display works of art, numismatics, manuscripts and weapons. Socio-Cultural Elements of Qatar & the Islamic World it Depicts The Museum of Islamic Art was a project that was initiated under the auspices of Qatar's hereditary Al-Thani dynasty as an attempt to enhance Qatar's cultural status. To this end, the MIA was meant to bring together the relics, audience and artists to develop the cultural systems and structures of the country for the future (Hudson para 6). Upon deciding to build the museum, the Qatari Museum Authority, headed by Sheikha Mayassa al-Thani called upon the then 86-year old IM Pei to draw the blueprints and architectural plan for the museum (Hudson para 2). The Chinese-American IM Pei was called for retirement to assist in drawing ...
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