Art Mill

Design Competition


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 Art Mill will be one of the largest and most forward-looking art galleries in the world

Qatar Museums is now searching for an architect to design the Art Mill in Doha. At circa one million square foot, the Art Mill will be one of the largest and most forward-looking art galleries in the world. The museum will require an accomplished design, with architectural integrity and presence, for the spectacular and historic waterfront site reserved for the project. 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 new museum aims to inspire new insights, encourage receptivity, widen artistic sensibilities, and promote understanding. The Art Mill will celebrate imagination and creativity.

A new model for international design competitions, the Art Mill International Design Competition is structured to allow a highly focused, four-stage search. Qatar Museums is specifically seeking out new – as well as established – talent looking for architects with evident capability who are on the threshold of distinction.

Update: The Art Mill jury met in autumn 2016 in New York. Following an intense session of design interviews with all shortlisted practices and their associates, the jury invited two practices to go forward to a final stage. This stage will be conducted as a charrette with senior client representatives in early 2017, leading to a final jury in March 2017. An announcement will be made following the conclusion of the competition. The jury thanked all shortlisted competitors for their hard work and dedication during the third stage of the competition.


Doha is already home to some of the world’s most inventive and creative buildings, with more due for completion in time for the World Cup celebrations in 2022.

The proposed site for the Art Mill was originally a key node within the Arabian Gulf port, essential for the import of grain. It is presently occupied by Qatar Flour Mills, which sits to the east of Museum of Islamic Art (MIA). The site has a distinctive open aspect with three sides adjoining Doha Bay, and the other linking the city. The mill operation will now move to purpose-built new facilities.

Site Area

The industrial process of milling has left a fascinating legacy in the layout and spaces of the existing buildings on the site, notably voluminous spaces and a rhythmic, patterned promenade of vertical silos. Some of the Flour Mills buildings possess an authentic monumentality in terms of positioning, scale and noble forms. Re-using and adapting these structures will be integral to the project.

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 (or buildings) is/are expected to contain between 60,000m² and 80,000m² of gross space (645,835 and 861,113 sq. ft.), plus underground parking.

While predominantly comprising gallery and exhibition space, the museum’s brief also includes extensive education, conference and event space, as well as state-of-the-art conservation and storage to match the diversity of the collection. There will also be facilities to support the community and provide amenities for visiting families.

With its reinvention as a place generating cultural rather than physical sustenance, the site is well placed for transport and social amenities, supplying the missing jigsaw-piece to complete the public realm around a key civic quarter. Adjoining and linked to MIA park, and a few minutes’ walk from Doha’s famous Corniche, the site offers panoramic views across the bay to the skyline of the financial district.

The Art Mill will be dynamic, sustainable, contemporary and true to its social and cultural responsibilities. It will also acknowledge the heritage and setting of a historic site at the heart of the port and city.

The budget will reflect the significance of the building and the provision of international gallery standards.


Media enquiries regarding the competition

Catherine Reading
+ 44 (0)20 7831 2998

Media enquiries regarding the Art Mill project and Qatar Museums

Rania Hussein
+ 974 4402 8535

Competition enquiries

Jayne Broomhall
+ 44 (0)20 7831 2998