Shortlist announced for Art Mill international design competition

Eight practices chosen from four continents to progress to final stage

Artmill Newsstory Image
© Malcolm Reading Consultants and Qatar Museums
  • 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.