Qatar to Invest in New Museums to Power Growth of Creative Economy
Speaking recently at the 2022 Doha Forum in Qatar, Qatar Museums Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, announced the development of three major new museums:
- Art Mill (architect Alejandro Aravena/ELEMENTAL)
- Lusail Museum (architect Jacques Herzog/Herzog & de Meuron)
- Qatar Auto Museum (architect Rem Koolhaas/OMA)
The announcement was made as part of a wide-ranging address by Her Excellency to the Doha Forum on the strategy for investing in the creative economy to drive the next phase of development in Qatar.
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa was joined on the platform by architects Jacques Herzog of the Pritzker Prize-winning Herzog & de Meuron and Alejandro Aravena of the Pritzker Prize-winning ELEMENTAL.
Also in the panel discussion, which Sheikha Al Mayassa moderated, were Qatar Development Bank Acting CEO Abdulrahman Hesham Al Sowaidi; Najla El Zein, designer for the Flag Plaza, a focal point for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™; and renowned footballer, businessman and UNICEF UK ambassador David Beckham.
Introducing the Doha Forum panel discussion, Sheikha Al Mayassa said that over the past 15 years, Qatar has made significant public investment in the infrastructure of vibrant cultural and creative networks, as an important strategic factor for economic development.
The Doha Forum is a global platform for dialogue where policy leaders discuss the critical challenges facing the world and build innovative and action-driven networks to address them. The creative economy panel centred on the new institutions that will join Qatar’s cultural ecosystem in the coming years.
The Art Mill, built on the site of the historic Flour Mill in Doha, is being designed by ELEMENTAL, with landscapes by Swiss designer Gunther Vogt. The Art Mill campus will bring together exhibition and performance galleries for modern and contemporary art, dedicated spaces for learning and artist residency programmes, production facilities, a village for Qatari creative industries, the Dhow Centre, and gardens.
Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, Lusail will be home to the world’s most extensive collection of Orientalist paintings, drawings, photography, sculptures, rare texts, and applied arts. Celebrating four millennia of cultural exchange between East and West, Lusail explores the influence of the Middle East and wider Islamic world in the arts and will include over 52,000 square metres of galleries, an auditorium, library, dedicated learning spaces, and more among its four floors.
Qatar Auto Museum
Qatar Auto Museum, designed by OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture), will be built along the Lusail Express Way between the 5/6 Park and Katara Cultural Village. The museum will offer 40,000 square metres of permanent galleries tracking the evolution of the automobile from its invention through today and how it has influenced culture in Qatar. In addition to providing temporary exhibition spaces for the display of high-profile vehicles, the museum will include a classic car restoration centre and areas dedicated to children’s activities, such as driving simulators, mini car mechanics, and more.
The new museums will add to the renowned institutions that Qatar has opened since 2008. Currently in development is Dadu, the children’s museum of Qatar, where children can learn and grow through play, exploration and experimentation in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
Qatar has also developed M7, a physical hub and centrepiece at Msheireb Downtown Doha dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship for the creative industries where emerging creatives can participate in mentorship and skills development programmes to hone their crafts and build their businesses.
As part of this week’s international #QatarCreates gathering, Qatar will open the Liwan Design Studios and Labs, a centre that provides a multifunctional co-working and learning environment for creatives to experiment, collaborate, network, and test the boundaries of design. The recently announced Qatar Preparatory School, will provide a full range of resources and services to train the workforce for the creative industries.
Additional developments in Qatar that encourage and support the nation’s burgeoning cultural sector include the Fire Station, which provides studio and exhibition space through its Artist in Residence programme, and initiatives and special events such as the Tasweer Photo Festival and the recurring Years of Culture programme of bilateral cultural exchanges. The new museums announced today will be integrated with all these institutions and initiatives and more, helping to complete the cultural ecosystem of Qatar and advance the nation’s creative economy.
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