An exterior view of the Museum of Islamic Art during the day, showing the building's reflection in the water
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Reimagining MIA: Inside and Out

7 June 2022

By Loubna Zeidan

The ambitious project to modernise the Museum of Islamic Art includes behind-the-scenes elements that ensure sustainability, security and safety.

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The new design of the Museum of Islamic Art, which will be unveiled later this year, will provide a space for families and younger audiences to explore Islamic art, history and culture in a friendly, innovative setting. But what about the less visible parts of the project? The work going on behind the scenes is just as vital.

From the very beginning of the project, MIA’s leaders set their sights on introducing visitors to Islamic art in an innovative way that relies on technology, interaction and exploration of Islamic heritage using different senses.

This ambitious project is in line with Qatar Museums' mission to build a better and more sustainable future, which includes environmentally friendly development. The mission of museums is not only to promote cultural heritage and pass it on to future generations, but also to highlight important environmental, social and economic aspects.

In order to achieve these goals, MIA’s Operations Department, led by Acting Deputy Director of Operations Mr Abdullah Al-Dosari, is working together with the Public Works Authority "Ashghal" to implement the logistical aspects of the current project. Ashghal is in full coordination with Wilmotte and Associates Architects, which developed the new designs for the museum, and Ashghal contractors are permanently present on the site to ensure that plans and initiatives are implemented at the highest levels.

A design rendering of the reimagined interior entrance to the Museum of Islamic Art

Energy-Saving Technologies

In addition to assisting with technical infrastructure to support new, family-friendly interactive features within the galleries, Ashghal is also strengthening the building’s security and safety systems in accordance with the highest international standards. This will ensure that MIA receives a QCDD certificate in line with the latest policies issued by Qatar Civil Defense. The safety and comfort of all visitors is a top priority.

Outside the museum’s walls, Ashghal is contributing improvements to the external lighting of the building, helping this architectural icon shine even at night. With a focus on efficiency, the new lighting system is compatible with the regulations of the National Company for Energy Efficiency Services, “Tarsheed”, relying on energy-saving LED lighting that reduces electricity consumption and carbon dioxide emissions for a healthy and sustainable environment.

An additional electrical substation will address the need for the increased power requirements of the Museum after its reopening, which will also introduce a fully electric and modern kitchen for the world-renowned Alain Ducasse restaurant, IDAM.

View of the Museum of Islamic Art illuminated at nighttime with its reflection in the surrounding water

Museum of Islamic Art illuminated at nighttime with its reflection in the surrounding water

A Sustainable, Efficient and Eco-friendly Museum

The Museum of Islamic Art has been awarded the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) existing building certification based on the LEED Green Building Rating, which focuses on the efficiency of operations and maintenance of existing facilities.

The museum also achieved the prestigious “GSAS OPERATIONS - GOLD Certificate for Sustainability Assessment (GSAS) in operation based on the Green Building Classification System of the Gulf Organization for Research and Development.

Visitors to the newly reimagined galleries can be sure that the upgrades taking place behind the scenes are just as innovative and thoughtful as the ones they experience directly.

Loubna Zeidan is an Editorial Specialist at Qatar Museums.