Renzo Piano one of the finalists for Qatar Art Mill regeneration project

Renzo Piano one of the finalists for Qatar Art Mill regeneration project

Qatar design competition to transform a former flour mill in Doha into an art gallery has drawn big names from around the globe.

The Art Mill is located next to the Museum of Islamic Art and near the under-construction National Museum of Qatar.

Italian architect Renzo Piano, who is responsible for the design of Qatar-owned Shard in London, is among eight designers who have been shortlisted, according to  Qatar Museums.

It also said the Italy-based atelier Renzo Piano Building Workshop is among the finalists, Doha News reports.

QM Chairperson Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al Thani said that the finalists’ list was expanded from five to eight companies owing to the ability of the contenders.

READ MORE: In pictures: The site for massive new Qatar Art Mill design competition

 “The competition reached out to designers working in very different contexts and communities.

“So we are delighted that the practices who persuaded the jury through their concept drawings and models reflect this diversity. They bring international perspectives as well as cultural sensitivity to this inspirational project for Qatar.

“The creative challenge here can’t really be overstated. This project offers a chance to redefine museum architecture, to crystalize the very latest thinking on audience engagement, technology and environmental strategies.”

The shortlist of seven firms includes two Japanese architects, one from the US, one from Chile, two European firms and one from Turkey.

The finalists’ list was compiled from a list of 26 contenders and the selected firms are:

• Adam Khan Architects (UK);
• Atelier Bow-Wow (Japan);
• EAA Emre Arolat Architecture (Turkey);
• Elemental (Chile);
• junya.ishigami + associates (Japan);
• Mangado & Asociados (Spain);
• Renzo Piano Building Workshop (Italy); and
• Rice+Lipka Architects (US)

While some of the finalists have gained international fame, others who have been chosen have yet to make a name globally.

The finalists were selected from a total of 489 applications from 56 countries.

More detailed design briefs will be developed after further information about plans for the now-disused vast space will be supplied.

The test for the architects is to remodel a huge space in warehouses and silos formerly used by Qatar Flour Mills.

That entails redesigning the 80,000m² industrial site into gallery and exhibition space with a modern design, while also containing education and conference facilities, conservation and storage areas and dedicated family spaces.

The winning practice will be announced after final interviews with the participating firms in early fall, QM said in a statement.


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