Posted on March 08, 2020

National Museum of Qatar is the only cultural destination in the world to have won two prestigious LCD Berlin Awards: the New Culture Destinations of the Year award in the ‘Middle East / and Africa’ category and the Leading Culture Destinations of the Year award for Best Museum Shop.

Now in their sixth edition, the LCD Awards highlight the world’s best established and emerging cultural destinations, recognising their exceptional contribution to cultural life. The New Culture Destinations of the Year awards highlight the significant role of culture in changing the perception of towns and cities  and  influencing their future development, while the Leading Culture Destinations of the Year awards highlight the experiential shift of cultural destinations into social hubs where visitors can explore, dine, shop, work – and even sleep.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel, the National Museum of Qatar tells the story of the country’s heritage and culture through commissioned films and artworks, storytelling, artefacts and music, combining wide-ranging scholarship with the voices of the people of Qatar. The National Museum is organized as a thematic and chronological sequence of galleries, which take the visitor on a 1.5-km (9-mile) journey through immersive, multisensory experiences. The new building is based on the form of the desert rose, composed of large interlocking disks of different diameters and curvatures that surround the restored historic Palace of Sheikh Abdullah bin Jassim Al Thani (1880-1957), son of the founder of modern Qatar.

The organic design and extraordinary craftsmanship of Nouvel's architecture echoes that of the museum shop where Japanese interior designer Koichi Takada communicates his vision of bringing nature back into architecture through a magnificent design of honey-hued timber curves inspired by Qatar’s Dahl Al Misfir (Cave of Light). 40,000 individual pieces of wood were assembled by hand, like a puzzle, by the Italian master carpenter, Claudio Devoto, and his team of artisans. The gift shop at the National Museum of Qatar offers a large collection of well-designed, exclusive gifts, many of which draw their inspiration from the history, heritage and culture of Qatar. The shop, operated by IN-Q Enterprises — the commercial arm of Qatar Museums — collaborates with local artists and designers to develop authentic and original merchandise.

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Ahmad Al Namla, CEO at Qatar Museums, said: “Since the National Museum of Qatar opened last year, it has been widely acclaimed as leading example of modern architecture which, through its exhibitions and offerings, has given citizens, residents and visitors a unique opportunity to engage in the country’s history and development. We are honored that LCD Berlin has chosen the museum and its gift shop to be the recipient of the New Culture Destinations of the Year (Middle East/Africa) and Leading Culture Destinations of the Year – Best Museum Shop.”

In a joint statement, the jury noted: “The 2020 LCD Berlin Awards shine a light on culture, art and travel, showcasing unique cultural experiences around the world. From local to global perspectives, the winners of the 2020 awards offer new and exciting opportunities to explore our relationship with public spaces, tradition, and identity. Over the years, the LCD Awards have offered a unique platform for the winners to showcase their cultural assets and reach global travellers wishing to immerse themselves in arts and culture. These winning destinations and institutions showcase just how deep the symbiosis between art, culture and travel is.”

The  winners  of  the LCD Berlin Awards 2020 were selected by a distinguished international  jury comprised of Matthew Anderson, European culture editor for The New York Times; Helena Egan, tourism and place-making specialist; Dr.  Martin  Heller,  cultural  advocate and arts patron; Oliver Jahn, editor-in-chief, AD Architectural Digest; Meryanne Loum-Martin, founder of AFRƎEculture.org; Dr. Thierry Morel,  director,  curator-at-large and board member of the Hermitage Foundation; artist Ahmet Ogut;  and  Salma  Tuqan, deputy director of the Delfina Foundation.

The winners of the LCD Berlin Awards were announced at an awards ceremony in Berlin on 4 March during LCD Berlin (4-5 March). For more information about the Leading Culture Destinations Awards for 2020, please visit LCDBerlin.com.

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