Winner Announced

Shortlist announced for Art Mill International Design Competition

  • Eight practices chosen from four continents to progress to the third and final stage of the competition
  • Jury expands shortlist from expected five to eight in recognition of the quality of second stage (masterplan) submissions
  • Finalists include celebrated and emerging architects
  • Full details of international jury released

The shortlist for the Art Mill International Design Competition and full details of the jury were announced by Qatar Museums today [21 April, 2016].

Gifted with one of the most spectacular and historic sites in the centre of Doha, the Art Mill will be pre-eminent in Doha’s waterfront ensemble of institutions dedicated to art and is expected to become one of the world’s leading cultural centres. 

The site, which extends into the Arabian Sea on three sides, adjoins the park around I.M. Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art, and is close to Jean Nouvel’s forthcoming National Museum of Qatar (currently under construction). It was until recently occupied by Qatar Flour Mills and is historically significant as a key node within the Arabian Gulf port – essential for the import of grain.

The eight competition finalists were selected by the international jury from the second stage, 26-strong longlist on the basis of their strategies for the site and its links to the city. The jury met over two days last month in Doha to analyse and review the teams’ drawings, narratives and models.

The competition’s original open call for interest (the first stage) attracted great interest from the international design community with 489 submissions received from 56 countries. 

Finalist practices (alphabetical order):

  • Adam Khan Architects (UK)
  • Atelier Bow-Wow (Japan)
  • EAA Emre Arolat Architecture (Turkey)
  • Elemental (Chile)
  • junya.ishigami + associates (Japan)
  • Mangado & Asociados (Spain)
  • Renzo Piano Building Workshop (Italy)
  • Rice+Lipka Architects (US)

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, said:

“The long-list was distinguished by some of the most talented architects practising today – and it is in recognition of this that we have expanded the shortlist from the five originally envisaged to eight.

“The competition reached out to designers working in very different contexts and communities. So we are delighted that the practices who persuaded the jury through their concept drawings and models reflect this diversity. They bring international perspectives as well as cultural sensitivity to this inspirational project for Qatar.

“The creative challenge here can’t really be overstated.  This project offers a chance to redefine museum architecture, to crystallise the very latest thinking on audience engagement, technology and environmental strategies. The museum experience in Doha is a special one.  We have a young demographic, and the habit of bringing the family to the museum, enjoying the grounds and amenities at weekends, has caught on across our society.”

Malcolm Reading, competition organiser and chairman of Malcolm Reading Consultants said:

 “We would like to thank all the long-listed teams for their work and commitment – this was a complex challenge as the site is of epic proportions. Fundamentally, the design challenge running through the project is to come up with a strategy which addresses the emblematic and civic opportunities of this exceptional site while also creating human-scaled, atmospheric spaces that inspire a deep and personal engagement with art. ”  

 The eight finalist practices will now be given a further briefing and progress onto more detailed concept designs for the Art Mill, which is conceived as a vibrant and multi-layered civic and cultural presence, a focus for the emerging campus of museums and cultural institutions at the eastern end of the Corniche.

Qatar Museums also released full details of the international competition jury, who are as follows:

  • Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
  • His Excellency Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani
  • Dr. Hassan Rashid Al-Derham, President, Qatar University
  • Professor Harry Gugger, Principal, Harry Gugger Studio
  • Dr. Akel I. Kahera, Dean, Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar
  • Sir John Leighton, Director-General, National Galleries of Scotland
  • Jasper Morrison, Designer
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto, Photographic artist, sculptor, architect, producer, and author
  • Professor Chris Wise FREng FICE RDI, Director, Expedition

The jury was advised by competition organiser and architect, Malcolm Reading of Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) and QM technical representative Maha Hamad Al Hajri.

It is anticipated that jury interviews with the shortlisted practices will take place in early autumn 2016, with the winner announced shortly afterwards.

Notes to Editors

Qatar Museums

Qatar Museums (QM) connects the museums, cultural institutions and heritage sites in Qatar and creates the conditions for them to thrive and flourish. It centralizes resources and provides a comprehensive organization for the development of museums and cultural projects, with a long term ambition of creating a strong and sustainable cultural infrastructure for Qatar. Under the patronage of His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and led by its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, QM is consolidating Qatar’s efforts to become a vibrant center for the arts, culture and education, in the Middle East and beyond.

Since its foundation in 2005, QM has overseen the development of the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, and the Al Zubarah World Heritage Site Visitor Centre. The QM also manages the QM Gallery at Katara and the ALRIWAQ DOHA Exhibition Space. Recent notable projects included the opening of the Fire Station: Artists in Residence in 2014; forthcoming ones include the launch of the highly anticipated National Museum of Qatar and the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum.

QM is committed to instigating Qatar’s future generation of arts, heritage and museum professionals. At its core is a commitment to nurturing artistic talent, creating opportunities and developing the skills to service Qatar’s emerging art economy. By means of a multi-faceted program and public art initiatives, QM seeks to push the boundaries of the traditional museum model, and create cultural experiences that spill out onto the streets and seek to involve the widest possible audiences. Through a strong emphasis on originating art and culture from within and fostering a spirit of national participation, QM is helping Qatar find its own distinctive voice in today’s global cultural debates.

The Art Mill Project

Art Mill will be one of the principal cultural venues in Doha. Mixing gallery and exhibitions space with education, learning and social facilities, the site will become one of the major museum destinations in the region. Located within walking distance of the iconic Museum of Islamic Art on one side, and the new National Museum of Qatar on the other, the Art Mill will extend and intensify the cultural quarter being developed in Doha.

The site for the Art Mill was originally a key node within the historic Arabian Gulf port, essential for the import of grain. The site, which projects into Doha Bay, is surrounded by sea on three sides. It was previously occupied by Qatar Flour Mills.

The mill operation will now move to new purpose-built facilities. The existing buildings range from storage to processing and warehouse facilities, mostly with high ceilings and large spans. The range of vertical silos is authentically monumental, and could be reimagined as compelling space for the display and interpretation of modern art.

The new museum building (or buildings) will contain between 60,000 m2 and 80,000 m2 of gross space (645,835 sq. ft. and 861,113 sq. ft.).

While predominantly comprising gallery and exhibition space, the museum’s brief also includes extensive education, conference and event spaces, as well as state-of-the-art conservation handling and research.

As this is a place of social as well as cultural interaction, there will be community facilities, food and beverage outlets and family amenities.

The site area is circa 83,500m2/898,787 sq. ft. It is anticipated that extensive outside space will be integrated with the design, offering opportunities for cross-programming and public engagement as well as creating a beautiful and sustainable setting.

The building and site will respond to and encourage integrated transport initiatives such as the Metro, waterbuses, cycling and walking. Innovation in energy management and preservation of natural resources are expected to be key features of the design and operation.

The budget will reflect the importance of the building and provision of international gallery standards. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2019.

Art Mill International Design Competition

The official language of the competition is English.

Anticipated competition timetable 20116
Stage three April – August 2016
Jury meeting and winner announced Autumn 2016

Malcolm Reading Consultants

Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC) is a strategic architectural consultancy which specialises in the selection of contemporary designers. MRC believes in the power of design to create new perceptions and act as an inspiration – whether at the local level, or internationally.

The consultancy offers a service to find the very best designers for clients with new building projects, whether through open-international, or private-invited competitions. Recent work in this area includes competitions for the gold-medal winning UK Pavilion at Milan Expo 2015, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park’s Culture & Education Quarter, the Mumbai City Museum, the Natural History Museum, New College, Oxford, the Museum of London and Tintagel Castle Bridge.