A monumental remnant of a country’s first steps towards progress, Doha’s Ethnographic Museum is an architectural and historic marvel of a wind tower house. As the only remaining structure of its kind in the country, the venue commands a significant place in the cultural and building history of Qatar. Drawing thousands of visitors to its environs each year the museum which is more popularly known as the Wind Tower House is located along Doha’s scenic coastline where the gush of the ocean and the sea breeze are a happy constant. Built in 1935 and restored in the early 1980’s, the site serves as a sombre reminder of the lifestyle of Doha’s inhabitants during its early days and the way in which its citizens structured their homes according to the times in which they lived. Described by many as a venue for entertainment as well as education, the Ethnographic Museum is a veritable treasure trove of information and insight into the country’s eventful past.
Typical of the Gulf building tradition, the Wind Tower House contains an aperture through which soft sea breezes are funnelled into the entire structure. Considered a common feature in Qatar homes of the era, the wind tower house provides ample ventilation ensuring the inhabitants inside the structure are protected from the inherent arid conditions of a Middle Eastern nation. This technique especially served the structure well during the unbearably hot summer periods by maintaining a steady flow of cool air that extended to the interior rooms of the building.
Located inside the Najada Shopping Plaza region, the building also uses a series of chimneys to funnel fresh salty air into the building. This makeshift form of air conditioning served the peoples of that era well and also provided a source of light to the homes which were yet to be illuminated by electricity.
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