The Museum of Islamic Art

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Mivan Depa successfully completed the full interior fitout of the iconic Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. The Museum is a modern architectural masterpiece designed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect I. M. Pei, alongside the museum’s 9 interior galleries which were designed by the renowned Wilmotte Associates

The museum is located on the Doha Corniche, spans five floors and has a total area of 45,000 m² with 5,250 m² reserved for permanent exhibitions and 700 m² for temporary exhibitions. The building consists of two interconnected structures, with a central courtyard joining the main building to the 2,500 m² educational wing.

The museum has a collection of works, including manuscripts, textiles and ceramics housed in galleries encircling a soaring, five-storey-high domed atrium. It is one of the world’s most complete collections of Islamic artefacts, with items originating in Spain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, India, and Central Asia.

The museum draws much influence from ancient Islamic architecture and collects, preserves, studies, and exhibits masterpieces of Islamic art that span three continents from the seventh to the nineteenth centuries. The museum also features a library, classrooms, workshops, study spaces, technical and storage facilities, a retail area, a bar restaurant, and an auditorium equipped with the latest audio-visual technology.

Mivan Depa completed the £50 million interior fitout over a two-year period, acting as principal contractor for the fitout of the new museum. The project consisted of the fitout of all interior elements of the scheme including the fitout of the dedicated museum space.

The interior features intricate pieces of architectural concrete in the form of small domes embedded in the place and finished with individual moulds. The galleries feature dark grey porphyry stone and Brazilian lacewood that was brushed and treated to create a metallic appearance.

The building’s centrepiece is the 50-meter-high vaulted atrium, which is hidden from the outside by the walls of a central tower. The atrium features an ovule at the top that captures and reflects a pattern of moulded light from within a faceted dome. The dome’s structural framework is made of stainless steel, and the ceiling is finished with individual moulds.

Within the 9 galleries Mivan was responsible for the following specialist packages:

  • Showcases
  • Setworks
  • Plinths
  • Wayfinding
  • Mounts

The Museum of Islamic Art is a traditional museum space with an emphasis on artefacts and displays. To house the many treasures the project team entrusted Click Netherfield to deliver the extensive showcase contract.  

Mivan and Click Netherfield worked seamlessly during the design stage to ensure a smooth completion of this package. Mivan was responsible for the enabling works, structural steel, marble cladding on the wall mounted, in-built show case walls along with midfloor showcases.

Mivan utilised its expert craftsmen within the company’s 110,000 sq ft to develop the specialist veneers which were coated in silver and used throughout the museum galleries. 

A major challenge for the Mivan engineers was the lifting of 3m x 3m specialist panes of coated, antireflective glass into the upper floor galleries. The team worked with international specialists to successfully carryout a world first engineering feat.

The museum opened to much international acclaim and will always be considered a major project in the history of the Middle East.