The National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah is located in a restored military fort in the heart of the historic Old Town.
At the invitation of the Museum's Director we have developed a masterplan for the comprehensive redevelopment of the heart of the Old Town. This will create a generously landscaped public realm surrounding the historic fort. New tree lined avenues and water features will offer locals and tourists a wonderful place to enjoy public events or just take a stroll.
To enable a comprehensive re-development of the museum all existing non-exhibition functions are to be decanted into new purpose made buildings located at the eastern edge of the new public space. These include a research and archive facility, an education centre and administration offices.
The visitor experience will begin at the new Welcome Building which has a pearl shaped reception space surrounded by a decorative screen designed to mimic palm fronds. Before leaving visitors will be able to enjoy the gift shop and café overlooking the new plaza.
A collaborative approach, working closely with the client and the team responsible for the refurbishment of the fort and museum fit-out has enabled us to gain a close understanding of the local context. The result has been a design rooted in this cultural and physical context - using it as a driver for the masterplan, the approach to massing and architectural composition as well as the choice of materials.