The Art Mill International Design Competition, a global search to find an outstanding team to design one of the world’s leading art galleries, ran from June 2015 to May 2017.
The competition was won by Chile-based practice, Elemental, whose design was described by the jury as ‘a serene artwork, where the structure is the architecture’. Elemental is led by Alejandro Aravena, the 2016 Pritzker Prize Laureate and supported by climate engineers, Transsolar; structural engineers, Schlaich Bergermann; and global design consultants, Stantec.
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.
Elemental’s winning concept took as its inspiration the rhythmic monumental grain silos that are the industrial legacy of the original Flour Mills on the site, which have produced bread for the State since the 1980s. However, in a creative riff the team added to the strict geometry of retained silos a looser grouping of new silos that will act as cooling chimneys circulating air through the site that extends spectacularly on three sides into Doha Bay.
Committed to artistic and architectural exploration, Qatar has established its capital Doha as a global art destination. Qatar’s strategic national plan values contemporary art and culture as a powerful force, inspiring communities and stimulating a knowledge-based economy. The new institution will complete Doha’s acclaimed sequence of museums devoted to art, including notably, I.M. Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art, and Jean Nouvel’s forthcoming National Museum of Qatar.
As much a bridge between cultures as a treasure house, the Art Mill aims to inspire new insights, encourage receptivity, widen artistic sensibilities, and promote understanding. The Art Mill will celebrate imagination and creativity.
Qatar Museums is immensely grateful to all the competitors who took part in the competition, and in particular the 26 long-listed teams and the eight finalists.
Please read the original call for interest and competition brief in the following pages.