New art gallery opens by Pritzker Prize-winning architect who designed the Louvre

The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, built to hold one of the Middle East's finest collections of religious art, has opened to the public.

The limestone structure, influenced by classical Islamic architecture, has been designed by IM Pei, the Pritzker Prize-winning architect behind the glass pyramid at the Louvre in Paris.

Set across 45,000m2, Pei's museum resembles a pyramid of stacked boxes. The clean, simplistic shapes are intended to represent the purity of Islam.

The museum sits on a purpose-built island in Doha harbour and contains as many as 800 cultural and historical artefacts from three continents, illustrating Islamic traditions from the seventh to the 19th centuries.

The principal contractor on the building was Turner Construction, and the interior fit-out was carried out by Mivan Depa.