Heritage Meets Innovation: Koichi Takada Principal Architect, Koichi Takada Architects, Australia

Heritage Meets Innovation: Koichi Takada Principal Architect, Koichi Takada Architects, Australia

Koichi Takada Architects is a leading architecture practice that believes in enriching communities through organic design. Based in Sydney with offices in Doha and Tokyo, Koichi Takada Architects celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018. Principal Architect Koichi Takada is a member of a new generation of architects that strive to bring nature back into the urban environment — an approach he matured after living in cities of high urbanisation: Tokyo, New York and London. In 2008, Koichi established Koichi Takada Architects.

His architecture is one that reconnects humans to the natural environment, drawing inspiration from organic forms and local contexts — an architecture that can be experienced through all six senses. His signature design aesthetic comes to life in his projects, and has won him an international reputation for design excellence, and with that, a long list of media acknowledgements.

The Dahl Al Misfir (Cave of Light), located in the heart of Qatar, is a beautiful underground sanctuary formed largely from fibrous gypsum crystals that give off a faint, moon-like, phosphorescent glow. Inspired by Dahl Al Misfir, the National Museum of Qatar Gift Shops echo Koichi Takada’s vision of bringing nature back into architecture, establishing relationships that connect people and nature through design. Using 3D modelling software, the shops are a three-dimensional puzzle, comprising 40,000 individual wooden pieces. Each is unique, fitting only with its corresponding piece and were assembled by hand on site. The Museum Gift Shops are a culturally rich response to the National Museum of Qatar’s curatorial mission – Heritage meets Innovation. The intensity of the design and craftsmanship pays homage to Jean Nouvel’s desert rose inspired architecture. One of the biggest challenges was dealing with the complexity and monumental scale of the museum design, a 53,000 square-meter agglomeration of interlocking.

There were no straight lines; all curved creating very complex spaces internally. Working within these parameters, the shop interiors reproduce the geometries and chromatism of the desert inspired architecture on a human scale. The National Museum of Qatar was also the first national museum in the world to receive both a LEED Gold and a 4-STAR (Global Sustainability Assessment System) sustainability rating. The shop interiors were constructed from European Oak, a conscious decision because of its renewable green credentials that aligned with the sustainable goals of the museum.

Project Name: National Museum of Qatar Museum Gift shop and Children’s Gift shop
Interior Design: Koichi Takada Architects
Client: Qatar Museum Authority
Photography: Tom Ferguson Photography
Project Completion Date: March 28, 2019
Area: 1194.79 m2
Materials: 40,000 unique timber pieces, 1,721 linear meters of timber.



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