The Art Mill International Design Competition was commissioned for one of the largest complexes in the world. Committed to artistic and architectural exploration, Qatar has established its capital Doha as a global art destination. Its national plan values contemporary art and culture for inspiring communities and stimulating a knowledge-based economy.
The site for the Art Mill extends into Doha Bay with the Arabian Sea on three sides. Presently occupied by Qatar Flour Mills, the site adjoins the park around I.M. Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art and is close to key landmarks. The finished Art Mill site will comprise one million square feet.
The competition was conceived as a highly-focused process, structured to attract emerging and seasoned designers.
The international architectural community responded with enthusiasm – MRC received 489 entries from 56 countries; within the overall list was a dazzling roll-call of leading studios.
Twenty-six firms from five continents were chosen to progress. Such was the quality of the second stage submissions that the jury expanded the shortlist from five to eight.
The jury met to assess the eight concept design in New York and extended the competition to allow a fourth stage, comprising a design charrette.
After a final presentation and interview, the Chile based practice ELEMENTAL was announced as the winner.
Professor Harry Gugger, Special Adviser to Qatar Museums and competition juror, said:
‘The competition reached out to some of the most extraordinary talents working in architecture today and ELEMENTAL, known for their social buildings, won in brilliant fashion, being both inventive and indefatigable. ELEMENTAL’s wonderful design proves once again that competitions get the best out of architectural practices.’