Qatar Museums shortlists architects for Art Mill project
Qatar Museums has announced an eight-strong shortlist of architects to covert former grain silos on the Doha waterfront into a vast gallery. The architect Renzo Piano is still a contender as is Elemental, the practice of the 2016 Prizker Prize-winning architect Alejandro Aravena. But David Chipperfield did not make the finalists chosen by a jury that includes Sheikha Mayassa, the head of Qatar Museums who is sister of the emir, and the Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto.
The international competition to find an architect to convert the grain silos into a museum with more than 60,000 sq. metres of gallery space was launched last year. A winner is due to be announced in the autumn and construction could start by the beginning of 2019.
The brief has changed however. Originally a substantial amount of storage for Qatar Museums’ diverse collections was included in the project but The Art Newspaper understands that this is no longer the case. In a statement, Malcolm Reading Consultants, which is helping to organise the search for an architect, says: “This follows refinement from the previous stage of the competition.”
No budget for the project has been announced but according to the competition website it “will reflect the importance of the building and provision of international gallery standards.”
The site is close to the Jean Nouvel-designed National Museum of Qatar, which is under construction and could open next year. This high-profile, with a reported $434m budget, was launched before the energy-rich Gulf state began to reduce public spending following the fall in the price of oil. The Art Newspaper understands that Qatar Museums’ planned children’s and Orientalist museums are on hold. Building stadia and infrastructure for the 2022 World Cup remain a priority.