Qatar Museums Art Museum Ad Middle East

The FIFA World Cup isn’t the only thing Qatar is planning. In addition to stadiums and 100+ hotels which are in development, the Gulf nation has unveiled plans to build three more art museums, each designed by a Pritzker Prize-winning architect.

The announcement was made over the weekend, in which Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, President of Qatar Museums, sees the move as a “creative economy investment strategy to drive the next development phase of Qatar”.

Of the three, the Lusail museum is greeted as “the world’s most extensive collection of Orientalist paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, rare texts and applied arts,” according to a statement. Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, the institution is dedicated to Middle Eastern art and will have 52,000 square meters of gallery space, a library, auditorium and centers for educational programs.

The Qatar Auto Museum will be designed by the architectural firm of Rem Koolhaas, OMA, which knows the region well, having built the National Library of Qatar in 2017. The institution will include 40,000 square meters of gallery space dedicated to an automotive restoration center, as well as exhibits that will explore “the evolution of the automobile from its invention to today and how it influenced the culture in Qatar”.

Finally, the Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena of ELEMENTARY will be responsible for converting a disused flour mill in Doha Bay into a creative campus called Art Mill. As one of the panelists at yesterday’s event, Aravena Noted“With the Art Mill, we are trying to trigger consequences for local industry even before construction begins. The Art Mill will not only be a perfectly finished object, but an opportunity for young designers, craftsmen and artisans in Qatar to come together to pass on the knowledge they have accumulated and contribute to the building, so that it not only houses a large collection but expands to a more popular audience.

Qatar’s creative efforts have not been without criticism. The region has been repeatedly in the securities for the mistreatment of workers and the thousands of deaths linked to the stadiums being built for the next World Cup. In 2017, Qatar signed a OK with the UN promising labor reforms, including an end to the no-objection certificate requirement, which will allow workers to change jobs without the employer’s permission.

Elsewhere, Takashi Murakami will present a three-part exhibition at Gagosian New York.

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