Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar through a row of palm trees

The Museum of Islamic Art Doha

The new Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, which opened in 2008, is a stunning building from the outside. But its interior designers also aimed to draw the eye to its exhibits with beautifully presented showcases. SCHOTT AMIRAN® glass proved to be the perfect material for the job.

Background

When renowned architect I. M. Pei drew up his vision for the new Museum of Islamic Art in Doha in the early 2000s, he wanted both the exterior and interior to catch the eye – almost as much as the artworks housed there. The building would have a distinctive modern-meets-traditional design based around geometric patterns and ancient Islamic architecture, while the interior would feature a similarly postmodern blend of styles. There, the 410 display cases would have the task of drawing the visitor’s eye once they moved into the main exhibition spaces.

Showcases in the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar

Task

Interior designer Jean-Michel Wilmotte was chosen to fine-tune the inside of the five floors of the museum to present the exhibitions in an attractive setting. He chose exotic Brazilian wood, dark gray porphyry, and metallic wood to contrast with the light brickwork. Of course, the eye needed to be drawn first to the exhibits themselves, while ensuring that they were fully secure and protected from light and other atmospheric factors. Wilmotte wanted a clean, minimal look for the cases to optimize viewing from any angle.

Solution

The anti-reflective properties of SCHOTT AMIRAN® were ideal for the display cases of the Doha MIA. The fiber optic lighting within the exhibition areas could have been an issue if traditional float glass had been used for the display cases, since reflections would have obstructed the view. But the high transmission of AMIRAN® removed this problem, while also meeting strict security requirements, thanks to the thermally toughened safety glass panes providing robust protection against breakage or vandalism.

	Interior of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, with chairs and glass display cases
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The Museum of Islamic Art has a traditional design based on ancient Islamic architecture

Interior of the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar, with series of pots in glass display cases
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SCHOTT AMIRAN® offers strong anti-reflective properties and robust protection

Series of glass display cases in the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar
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Fiber optic lighting provides pinpoint illumination for the museum's precious exhibits

The advantages of AMIRAN® 

There are several advanced features of SCHOTT AMIRAN® that have resulted in it being used in office, retail, leisure and living spaces around the world, as well as museums such as the Doha MIA. AMIRAN® is processed to achieve exceptionally low levels of reflectivity (1 % compared to 8 % with conventional float glass) and outstanding color rendering, so that the ornate details behind the glass can be seen as clearly as possible. It can also be precisely processed in a variety of sizes, thicknesses and designs, with the potential for coatings to make it even more scratch-resistant and easy to clean.

Reflections reduced to a minimum

SCHOTT AMIRAN® is at its most successful when it’s barely seen. As a glass producing hardly any reflection, it offers clear views in all light conditions, while its strong color stability means photography is never a problem. The excellent mechanical strength of AMIRAN® also protects against impacts, scratches, and vandalism, while it also offers outstanding chemical resistance and guards the artifacts against harmful UV light rays even under bright spotlights.

Used materials & similar products

Interior designers Wilmotte & Associates chose SCHOTT AMIRAN® for this project because of its unrivalled anti-reflective qualities and secure properties, as well as its suitability to be processed very precisely in clean, seamless-looking designs.

Global cooperation for an important Islamic project 

Bringing together companies from three different continents, this huge project required meticulous planning and high levels of craftsmanship. SCHOTT not only had to work closely with the interior designers, they also had to answer the challenges set by the lighting experts and display case manufacturers.


Glass made by
SCHOTT

Architect
I. M. Pei, New York

Project Manager
Emmanuel Brelot and Fabian Servagnat, Paris

Interior design and exhibition design
Jean-Michel Wilmotte, Paris

Planning of the structural framework
Leslie E Robertson Associates, New York

Light Planning
Fisher Marantz Stone, New York

Display case approach and manufacturing
Click Netherfield Ltd, Livingston, Scotland

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