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Tribune News Network
The National Museum of Qatar (NMoQ) has started construction of the outdoor ‘Qatar TotalEnergies Playground’. The project, first announced in 2019, is sponsored by TotalEnergies and is designed by Taylor Cullity Lethlean (TCL).
The ‘Qatar TotalEnergies Playground’ will provide a unique experience for families to explore and discover the story of energy in Qatar through meaningful play. The playground’s maze-like architecture is inspired by energy on a molecular level and prompts children to act the part of historic and future energy extraction, production, distribution and use through an engaging series of ‘pick-your-own-adventure’ scenarios. Each scenario interprets a variety of stories, including the natural formation of fossil fuels, harnessing renewable energies, reducing carbon emissions, and the myriad of final products used in society.
Construction will be carried out by the Supervisory Committee for Beautification of Roads and Public Places in Qatar (Ashghal) and is due to be unveiled by the end of September 2022.
To mark this milestone, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums; Patrick Pouyanné, chairman of the Board and chief executive officer at TotalEnergies; Ahmad Musa Al Namla, chief executive officer of Qatar Museums; Matthieu Bouyer, managing director TotalEnergies EP Qatar and TotalEnergies Country Chair in Qatar; and Dr Eng. Saad bin Ahmad Al Muhannadi, president of Ashghal, among other high-profile dignitaries, attended a ceremony at the playground site.
The commemoration also saw the unveiling of the TotalEnergies plaque at NMoQ’s Gallery 10, as well as the first stone ceremony, to symbolise the playground.
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said: “Qatar Museums plays an integral part in fostering creativity and cultural knowledge. The Qatar TotalEnergies Playground at the National Museum of Qatar will provide a fully immersive and educational experience in which visitors of all ages can learn about the discovery of oil in Qatar and how it has shaped present-day society. We extend our gratitude to TotalEnergies for its continued generosity in supporting our educational outreach programmes designed to engage the wider community and visitors to Qatar on topics exploring Qatar’s rich heritage.”
“This playground will promote a necessary and crucial conversation about energy across all generations - to understand our energy’s past and most importantly its future. More than just a playground, this experience will allow children to learn about Qatar’s sustainability efforts, and to better understand domains such as solar, LNG, electricity, carbon capture, plastic recycling,” said Patrick Pouyanné.
“We are delighted about our partnership with Qatar Museums, and I would like to thank Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani for making it possible. The Qatar - TotalEnergies Playground is a good illustration of our actions in Qatar in favour of education and culture. It will contribute to developing the younger generations’ understanding of the energy landscape in Qatar aligned with the Qatar National Vision 2030,” mentioned Matthieu Bouyer.
Starting in water play, the story begins with the historic creation of the earth’s oil and gas deposits through geological and biological processes that are revealed on a play space modelled on the structure of organic hydrocarbon molecules. Children move through a series of play ‘pods’ each representing the steps in the process that transforms crude oil and gas tapped from the earth to the many products used in our daily lives all around the world, including pathways to future renewable energies. Pathways through the play space vary as each child can choose from a range of options to follow, providing a new experience, resulting in a different end product of the energy pathway. Each pass through the process illustrates the many uses of oil, gas, and renewable energies in today’s society.
Playground features will also include dry mist fans arranged to provide more comfortable microclimates throughout the pods and gardens and a playground setting interpreting land and ocean energy pathways. A series of crawl tunnels in the form of oversized ‘pipes’ for children to move through the space will illustrate how the refined components of the oil and gas are processed to become a range of important products for Qatar’s history. There will also be a tower play structure representing the refinery of the oil, gas and energy story component and the development of a range of everyday products, a series of walking/climbing/crawling/sliding areas and responsive interactives, accessible for all ages, that can be played solo or with a team.
The narrative of energy industries, such as oil, is an ongoing theme explored across galleries at NMoQ, which highlight topics such as the discovery of oil, oil negotiations and correspondences, the rapid modernisation the country witnessed due to the oil industry and the impact it has had on socio-cultural development.
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