Sound for Architecture in Doha – 2019

National Museum of Qatar

Star architect Jean Nouvel was commissioned to build the new National Museum of Qatar, which opened its doors at the end of March 2019. Inspired by the local desert rose, he designed a gigantic building complex made of 539 curved disks.  On an exhibition surface area of 8000 square metres, the museum is home to a total of twelve topical galleries that take the visitors on a journey through Qatar’s history.

Engaged as audio consultants by the National Museum, Idee und Klang Audio Design created the audio scenography – from the planning of the speakers to the definition of the sound aesthetics and the production and final mix of the soundtracks.

In order to be able to create an immersive sound experience in such an open and yet complex architecture, the entire building had been recreated as a virtual acoustic model. Consequently, the 308 speakers could be planned ideally for each gallery and thereupon were invisibly intergrated into the architecture. 

With the help of a style guide, the audio content of the films as well as the interactive installations were defined in order not to affect one another. By means of a special 3D audio software each of the films was pre-mixed at Idee und Klang Atelier together with the directors, composers and sound designers, and finalized for the existing room acoustics at the museum afterwards. 

For each gallery, one director at a time was commissioned to create a multidimensional film. Such as, for instance, the director Abderrahmane Sissako who addreses life in the desert at the ’Life in al Barr‘ gallery, its beauty but also its difficulties and hardships. Or the artist Doug Aitken who staged a spectacular film about Qatar’s source of wealth, i.e. its oil production. 

Credits

Museum: National Museum of Qatar
Customer: MEJV (MAN / EMPTY Joint Venture)  
Architecture: Ateliers Jean Nouvel 
Acoustic model: WSDG Basel
Technical planning: Dean Winkler WCI
Projection mapping: RES
Audio technology: Techno Q
Speakers and audio server: Meyer Sound 
Film production: Doha Film Institute 
Directors: Christophe Cheysson, Jananne Al-Ani, Abderrahmane Sissako, Mira Nair, Peter Webber, Doug Aitken, John Sanborn
Photography: RES