Museum of Islamic Art

The exceptional quality of the building design, the location and the position of the new Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar makes it one of the most inspiring projects of its kind in the world. The Islamic Museum will display the Qatar National Collection of Islamic Art - a world class collection of ceramics, metalwork, jewellery, woodwork,glass and other items made in countries all over the Islamic World from medieval Spain to Central Asia and India.

Designed by world-famous architect Ieoh Ming Pei (commonly known as I M Pei), a Chinese-American architect, who also designed the controversial glass pyramid in the Louvre, the entire project encompasses a massive 45,000m2

The museum is situated on the southern part of the Doha seafront on an artificial island about 60 metres off the coast. Its visibility from all directions adds to its magnificence. Time-defying, the museum emerges from the water offering a magnificent view over Doha’s lagoon from the west.

Exhibitions will include a wide array of luxurious, well-preserved artefacts of ivory and silk - some of which are more than 600 years old - that belong to the Islamic Art style manifested in their inscriptions and arabesque.

Invisible Big Brother

To this end, identifying those areas where “Big Brother” was not imposing on the visitors was vital. The various systems installed in the museum and their flexibility gives the Security & Safety Department he ability to adjust is approach according to the Risk Profile at any time.

With CCTV (including radar detection across the sea approaches), access control, motion detection and the presence of Security & Safety Wardens, The Museum’s management are able to monitor activity to assess the most successful combination to meet the needs of the museum at varying times of the day as well as the needs of the Security & Safety Department.

“Designing the comprehensive security plan for the Museum of Islamic Art involved balancing the need to ensure the security of the artefacts and safety of staff and visitors with the need to make the museum and education centre accessible, welcoming and user friendly.” Brian T. Connor (CPP MSyI MInstLM) Head of Security & Safety, Qatar Museums Authority

Built on its own island brings its own challenges

Built on its own island brings its own challenges

One of the challenges facing the Security & Safety Department is that the museum has been built on its own island in Doha Bay. The design of the building has included open areas, including the bridges from the mainland to the museum, which are designed to give visitors clear and uninterrupted views of the surrounding areas.

The Consultants point of View

Consultant Kevin Gausden from Quadrant Security Group worked on the specifications for the project, “During the design phase of the Museum of Islamic Art, many aspects had to be considered. The design criteria required pre-alarm images from all 420 cameras being recorded at real-time (25 frames per second) uncompressed video. An IP solution would not have met the criteria due to inherent issues regarding latency/bandwidth requirements and video compression techniques.

AMG Systems provided a professional service and worked with Quadrant Security Group to develop the design solution and transmission requirements. The harsh Middle East environment, the stability of the AMG Systems product range, the Quality of Service and the ongoing technical support all added to the selection criteria.

Backbone infrastructure

Backbone infrastructure

“A multi-core fibre Backbone Infrastructure is utilised to carry multiple disciplines from local floor control cabinets to the Security Equipment Room where the AMG receivers convert the images back to coax terminations on a real time uncompressed video basis. The Synectics Modular Digital Recording System is installed as the “Front End” Integrated Control System and records the images on a “Time Lapse Later” basis thus providing the requirements of the Real Time Pre-Alarm.

The AMG products were not only utilised for Video and Telemetry transmission but also provided the Network for the SIS Limited AspectARTS™ Artwork RFID Tagging System using the inbuilt RS232/485 Ports.

The RFID tagging system, amongst others, delivers the signals from pressure pads on the exhibition displays as well as vibration detection and door-to-door magnetic reads.

Partnership with SIS

With an original total budget of approximately QR873 Million (US $ 239 Million) of which the security solution alone was for US $5.25 Million, Specialized & Interactive Systems L.L.C based in Dubai was awarded the contract. General Manager at SIS, Bruce Haigh, explains; “…in the end the product specification and quality as well as the support we received from AMG Systems, were the criteria that influenced our final decision in selecting AMG as the supplier for the CCTV transmission system. And I’d like to add, that AMG has been extremely supportive throughout the project and assisted in the design of the system”.

System Design

System Design

SIS installed a fully dual redundant system using the AMG4600 series dual redundant, uncompressed, multi-channel point-to-point video, data and Ethernet fibre transmission system. A total of 420 cameras are installed of which 21 are Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ). Most of these are installed inside the museum although a certain number of cameras cover the perimeter and the surrounding parkland.

A special feature is the 4 radar pods on the building - which are sweeping the sea approach constantly - that are connected into the transmission system. Hence, when a movement is spotted the nearest camera is automatically set to trail the boat - or the diver - across the bay for visual verification and threat assessment. Bruce Haigh says, “The camera signals are routed to 2 Control Rooms - however future planning is looking at establishing a single Central Control Centre to which all individual site control rooms will report via the WAN. All the cameras can be viewed at any time in any of the control rooms, as long as the operator is given viewing privileges”.