Radwani House: A Classic Form Of Qatari Property

At the end of my visitation to Msheireb Museum, I explored with a middle-aged man from France. I slowly lead him into room after room.

Radwani House was an original depiction of a typical Qatari house built in the 1920s on the border of Qatar’s oldest districts namely Al-Jassra and Msheireb. This house was bought by Ali Akbar Radwani on December 5, 1936 and lived with his family for more than 70 years.

The Radwani House has been enlarged and remodeled from the original building over time and was one of the most important historical buildings in Doha. This house showed the extraordinary history of Qatari life and lifestyle and illustrated the adaptation to vast societal changes in Qatar during the twentieth century.

Special research on Radwani House was carried out in the winter of 2012-2013 by a team of archaeologists from University College London Qatar. This was the first archaeological investigation conducted in the whole of Qatar.

The discovery of other foundations in this building indicated that this house had undergone many renovations throughout its life, it seemed that a well was found which, if you looked at the initial layout of the house, this well was located outside the main building, precisely in a narrow alley.

It was also known that this house originally consisted of two buildings, which after these two parts were purchased by the same owner, the two parts were combined. Both ends of the alley were closed so as to produce a wider house shape.

Old house foundation.
Well and bath.

Excavations at Radwani House uncovered several objects that provided clues to daily life in this house. Found incense burners from 1920-1930, a series of discarded pearl shells that were the result of collecting sea shells at low tide, coffee cups, glasses, jewellery, clothing and toys.

Sherbah, a long-necked clay jug that served as a drinking place.
Pearl shell.
Coffee cup.

Radwani House was renovated in the early 1940s to produce the house you see today:

The current form of Radwani House.
Front door.
Majlis – typical Qatari home page -.

Even though the yard looked spacious, Ridwani House still showed a concern for privacy. The outside of the house looked windowless. The window was only on the wall facing the courtyard. Meanwhile, the courtyard itself was surrounded by houses on all sides.

Meanwhile, the part of the main gate which would lead people to the courtyard must first turned 90 degrees to ensure that the courtyard was not visible to outsiders.

The arrangement of the Radwani House rooms also showed its own peculiarities. There were rooms which function very specifically liked kitchens and warehouses. Some of them were built as functional spaces.

Living room.
Family lounge.
Guest lounge.
Room furniture.

This was the last destination during my visitation in Qatar. Then of course, I had to immediately leave Qatar.

Where did you want my feet to go? ……

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