To inaugurate its temporary exhibition gallery, the new National Museum of Qatar presents an exploration of the ongoing urban and architectural development of the capital city, Making Doha 1950-2030, on view from 28 March through 30 August 2019. Curated by Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal of OMA/AMO and Fatma Al Sehlawi and the Qatar based research team from Atlas Bookstore, and designed by a team from OMA/AMO, Making Doha 1950-2030 brings together seventy years of photographs, models, plans, texts, films, oral histories, and archival materials to chart Doha’s transition from organic growth to more modern and deliberate planning practices.
This exhibition examines how the city of Doha was assembled and how its construction affected the global discipline of architecture across four major chapters: Seeds of a Nation (1950–1971), Modern State (1971–1995), And the World (1995–2010), and Destination Qatar (2010–2030). The floorplan of the exhibition is designed as a timeline, organizing the story into four sections, with key moments punctuating the visitors’ passage along the narrative. A 115-meter-long curtain printed with historical collages lines the edge of the space.
Commenting on the opening, Sheikha Reem Al Thani, Director of Exhibitions at Qatar Museums said: “This ambitious new temporary exhibition is a powerful articulation of the development of our modern State, and the perfect addition to a comprehensive and vibrant programme that marks the official opening of the new National Museum of Qatar. With this architectural exhibition, the curatorial team has illustrated how progressive and humanistic principles can be translated into state-led urban developments.
Rem Koolhaas: “Typically a learning curve eventually flattens out. By relentlessly placing tremendous challenges before itself—a major airport, the World Cup, the Olympics, new cultural institutions like Qatar Museums and Education City—Qatar put itself in a situation where the curve constantly became steeper.” Samir Bantal: “The exhibition shows the evolution of Doha as a test site of modern architecture and urban planning. Four zones represent the periods of leadership, its visions and collaborations, while a central spine collects governmental ambitions through time. A large collection of images and models demonstrates a first attempt of collecting Doha’s impressive architectural resume.”
Fatma Al Sehlawi: “Through this exhibition the Atlas Bookstore research team has accelerated its efforts to documenting the urban and architectural formation of the city. We are now able to tell a story of a metropolis put together with care, in which the past has not been erased, and the present is a functioning, livable, whole. We believe this is very much the first stage of a greater project aiming to record the city’s physical growth, and we now anticipate the participation of visitors to enrich this archival collection.”
Making Doha 1950-2030 has been organized under the supervision of Sheikha Reem Al Thani, Director of Exhibitions at Qatar Museums, and Sheikha Amna bint Abulaziz bin Khalifa Al Thani, Director of the National Museum of Qatar. The research team from Atlas Bookstore that developed the exhibition content was Marsya Abdulghani, Nasser Al Armadi, Fatima Al Hajri, Majid Al Remaihi, Alanood Al Thani, Rawda Al Thani, Ahmed Alony, and Markus Elblaus. The AMO design team was Valentin Bansac, Samir Bantal, Yotam Ben-Hur, Sebastian Bernardy, Rem Koolhaas, Annie Schneider and Aleksandr Zinovev. Source and photo Courtesy of OMA.