Qatar Open Plans for Three New Museums as Part of Big Cultural Program

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National Museum of Qatar. Photo by Iwan Baan.

More than 15 years after Qatar embarked on an ambitious museum building program from the ground up, cultural figures have announced a major new round of investment in the country’s museum sector. The news broke at the 2022 Doha Forum in Qatar, where Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chair of Qatar Museums, announced the creation of three major new institutions.

These include Art Mill, a campus that will be built on the site of a historic flour mill and will feature contemporary art exhibitions and performance galleries. It is also planned to build facilities for educational and resident programs, production facilities, a village for the Qatari creative industries, a dhow center, and gardens. All those will be designed by Alejandro Aravena of Elemental.

Meanwhile, the Lusail Museum, which is being designed by star architect Jacques Herzog of Herzog & de Meuron, will be home to the most extensive collection of Oriental paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, rare texts, and applied art. Its four floors will house over 52,000 square meters of galleries, a library, special learning spaces, and more.

Finally, the Qatar Automobile Museum, designed by OMA’s Rem Koolhaas, will be built along the Lusail Expressway between 5/6 Park and Katara Cultural Village. The museum will offer 40,000 square meters of permanent galleries. It will follow the evolution of the car from its invention to the present day and explore how it has influenced the culture of Qatar.

David Beckham speaking at the 2022 Doha Forum in Qatar on March 27. Image courtesy of Qatar Museums.

The project will include a classic car restoration center and areas dedicated to fun for kids, such as driving simulators and miniature car mechanics. The budget for the projects has not been disclosed, and a spokesman for Qatar Museums said there is no estimated completion date yet.

In her opening remarks to the forum, Sheikha Al-Mayassa said that she was here not only as a participant in the development of Qatar’s cultural institutions but also as a person dedicated to helping her country realize its ambitious national vision so that people can build Qatar the way the citizens want it.

She was joined, among others, by star footballer David Beckham. The Doha Forum has been described as an annual global dialogue platform where political leaders can discuss critical issues facing the world and build networks to address them. In this edition, the creative economy team focused on new institutions that will join Qatar’s cultural ecosystem in the coming years.

Also, Dadu, the Children’s Museum of Qatar is currently under development. A host of institutions opened in Qatar in 2008 including the Museum of Islamic Art, the Mathaf Arab Museum of Contemporary Art, the Qatar National Museum, the M7 hub located in downtown Doha Msheireb, and the new 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum.

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