The National Museum of Qatar opened in March 2019 and was designed by architect Jean Nouvel. The 430,000 square foot building, which consists of a series of interlocking discs that resemble a desert rose, houses a collection of immersive multi-media exhibits that combine video projections, sound, and other sensory stimuli to expose visitors to Qatar’s history and culture. The 3-D audio design for the exhibits was created by Swiss firm Idee und Klang.
Due to the unique construction of the building and the demanding sonic concerns of the exhibits, Idee und Klang contracted WSDG to create a 3-D acoustic model of the space and make recommendations regarding appropriate speaker usage and placement to maximize the effectiveness of the audio and minimizing the amount of spillover between exhibits without compromising the aesthetics of the museum.
The project took two years from conception to completion. WSDG Project Engineers Robi Hersberger and Christoph von Hollaky visited the space while it was under construction in late 2017 to measure its acoustic properties and determine its suitability for immersive audio. Due to the usage of acoustic plaster in the construction of the museum’s ceilings and its irregular shape, WSDG determined that the rooms would be suitable for this and were able to recommend the best speaker implementation for the project. Von Hollaky then built the 3-D acoustical model allowing WSDG to create accurate acoustic simulations and begin to determine the type, number and positioning of speakers. WSDG recommended the use of Meyer UP-4slim, UPM-1P, Ashby 8C, and Amie Subs due to their effective compromise of size and power, and the speakers were installed in both the ceilings and around the projection areas to create an immersive sound field.