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Saturday, April 17, 2021

Qatar flour mills to be converted into art gallery and exhibition space

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Art Mill site
Art Mill site

Taking advantage of soon-to-be-vacant prime waterfront property, Qatar Museums has launched an international search for an architect who can help transform the flour mills near the Museum of Islamic Art into a vast art gallery.

The project, dubbed “the Art Mill,” will be located inside buildings near the existing port. They are currently in use by Qatar Flour Mills, but that company is soon moving to new, purpose-built facilities.

The warehouses and silos sit at the tip of a short peninsula at the end of the Corniche, and are also near the under-construction National Museum of Qatar.

The plan is to reinvent the 80,000 sq meter industrial site into gallery and exhibition space with a “contemporary design,” while also including education and conference facilities, conservation and storage areas and dedicated family spaces.

The surrounding outside space will also be landscaped to integrate with the gallery.

Contest launch

From now until June 26, a global design competition led by Malcolm Reading Consultants is being held to find 20 architects to comprise an initial long-list.

Eligible architects should have at least seven years’ experience, but can be up-and-coming or well-established, according to the design concept.

The list will eventually be whittled down to five architects, who will each be asked to draw up detailed designs for the conversion and extension of the structures, before a final winner is announced, likely by Spring 2016.

According to Art Newspaper, work could begin in 2017, to create what was described in a statement as “one of the world’s leading art galleries.”

QM’s Acting Chief Executive Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud also said in a statement:

“Dynamic, sustainable, contemporary and true to its social and cultural responsibilities, it (the gallery) will reflect the importance and setting of an historic site at the heart of the port and city.”

This will not be the first time QM has repurposed defunct industrial buildings and given them a new lease of life.

In March this year, the first phase of the Fire Station opened. The former Civil Defense headquarters was converted into a creative hub for young artists and also has gallery space.

Collection

There are no details yet about the collections to be displayed in the Art Mill when it finally opens to the public. However, its scale will be significant – much larger than the Tate Modern on London’s Southbank, which currently stands at 34,000 sq meters including its Turbine Hall.

In recent years, Qatar has reportedly bought several pieces of famous artwork, although QM has not confirmed these acquisitions.

Nafea faa ipoipo (When will you marry?)
Nafea faa ipoipo (When will you marry?)

For example, in February, a 1892 oil painting of two Tahitian girls by Paul Gauguin set a record for the most expensive artwork ever purchased. Two art dealers told New York Times at the time that the piece was bought by Qatar.

Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?) belonged to a Swiss collector and had been on loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel in Switzerland for nearly fifty years.

Years earlier, in 2011, QM reportedly spent some $250 million for Cezanne’s The Card Players – more than double the price that had ever been paid for a single work of art on auction.

While the piece has yet to be publicly displayed, it is expected that it will feature in the National Museum, which is scheduled to open to the public next year.

Qatar was also rumored to have bought Pablo Picasso’s famous Child With a Dove painting, which sold for $74.5 million. The artwork had been in the UK for 85 years and was sold privately at a Christie’s auction in 2012.

Thoughts?

39 COMMENTS

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Anonymouse
Anonymouse
5 years ago

Good initiative, I like hearing of this sort of thing.

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago

It was cute at first … But really how many art galleries do we need …

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago

I hope to read one day that an old building is transformed into a high-tech factory, a scientific research lab, a pharmaceutical company, etc. Just anything that is useful and has tangible benefits.

AEC
AEC
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

or even just adequate housing for those in need…

Joe
Joe
5 years ago
Reply to  AEC

….and NO NUDE art will be shown here as the human body is not beautiful or can be seen by “Arab” eyes in public ..!!

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago
Reply to  AEC

there is adequate housing… asian city or whatever its called.. just no one wants to pay for it

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Like qatar science and technology park in QF?

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Yeah why not. I don’t know this project in particular but it sounds like an interesting one. QF in general has interesting and useful projects, even though they have their issues as well (huge expenditures, delays, etc.), but nothing is perfect at the end of the day.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

I’m assuming you are being sarcastic. QF is great for what it is, but the massive R&D investments haven’t amounted to much. Maybe it will eventually, but $20 million on a painting will turn a bigger profit in the short term.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Art is useful. Maybe not practical like inventing a screwdriver, but useful in that it can be beautiful and provoke reflection and thought about ourselves, our society and our past.

FYI–Qatar has probably earned more money from the appreciation of its art collections than from patents and inventions stemming from the investment in research and development.

Expat
Expat
5 years ago

An 80,000 square meter gallery? This is evolving to be the “museum city” of Doha even though an art gallery isn’t technically a museum but still. The project bodes well with the “everything city” mentality I usually talk about on DN. There is education city, school city (area), mall city (area), motor city (soon to be) and the list goes on…why can’t they make self sustainable neighborhoods?!

Abdulrahman Al-Thani
Abdulrahman Al-Thani
5 years ago
Reply to  Expat

Self sustainable neighberoods? What hippy fantasy world are you living in? Man, just move to Portland, Orgeon. Bye.

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago

“the art mill” is no less of a hippy fantasy im afriad… large than the tate modern … what will it house.. which isn’t in the fire house art gallery or won’t be in the qatar national museum

Abdulrahman Al-Thani
Abdulrahman Al-Thani
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Dude, learn to god damn read. I was talking about self sustainable neighberhoods. I was replying to another person’s comments. Why are you involving yourself in this conversation? Do you even know us? Bye Felicia.

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago

first .. welcome to the internet.. when anyone can say anything to anyone … second… did you just bye felicia me… lol what are you 13 ?

Abdulrahman Al-Thani
Abdulrahman Al-Thani
5 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Mod’s deleted my comment for too much realness but basically you’re gay

iNOu
iNOu
5 years ago

I miss QIS

Abdulrahman Al-Thani
Abdulrahman Al-Thani
5 years ago
Reply to  iNOu

I miss your qis too

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago

Stay classy

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago

Deleting for swearing and attack.

Critic
Critic
5 years ago

That’s a great idea. All the current art exhibition spaces are full and there is no space for new exhibits. Furthermore you cannot even enjoy the art because the places are flooded by visitors day & night?

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
5 years ago
Reply to  Critic

It is not just the visitors; remember that work stops when it is hot. The labourers end up with so much spare time that when they get tired of shopping at the shiny new malls they flood the museums and galleries.

Lincoln II
Lincoln II
5 years ago

Dear Friends.

Some are unhappy with the events for so many years. But if we think about it then we must accept the desire to collect the most important art pieces in the world to understand the world. Now, to look into the future there is going to be another world from today.

As we get older so does the world and some day we will look at the museums to find ourselves and who we are.

Life we live forwards but understand backwards.

Wouldn`t it be sad to come to the future and find out what we have lost? The world is getting more and more complex and to morrow we don`t know will bring.

We must understand the past to understand the future. Let me give you an example; in the year 1956, a relative young man died in a fatal car accident killing not only himself but a lady.

A tragedy and also a scandal. His name was Jackson Pollock. He became the world most expensive artist and painted the most extraordinary paintings the world ever has seen.

To look at his paintings we better understand the mistakes of us people and just remember; when he lived and painted he sold for small dollars. 2 $ and if lucky, 5 $ all happened in the years 1947 to 1951 but to day he is the most valuable artist.

Can you imagine, to day he is the most valuable painting? We are talking about 200 million S $ –

If you like to follow him on you tube please look up under the title: Jackson Pollock a genius of his time.

Thank you for reading this. All the best in the future.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Lincoln II

Can you summarize in one line the point of your comment? I have read it all and I am like: so what does he want to say? Thanks.

A_qtr
A_qtr
5 years ago
Reply to  Lincoln II

I want what your taking

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
5 years ago
Reply to  Lincoln II

Deleting for baffling irrelevance.

Pete
Pete
5 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

“baffling irrelevance”…love that. Will add it to my repertoire of useful phrases.

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
5 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

I would love to see one of my comments deleted for “enlightening irrelevance” LOL

Lincoln II
Lincoln II
5 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

Sorry for you deleting my writings. Maybe it is “baffling irrelevance” to you, but it certainly is not “baffling irrelevance” at all.

This is what museums are all about. It is not about bricks and concrete, but “feelings, thoughts and spirit”.

If you do not understand this or appreciate this you do not understand the idea of museums at all.

Have a nice day.

Sincerely

Lincoln ll

Frank
Frank
5 years ago

Question for Shabina – where/how did you guys first hear about this project to report on it ?

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Don’t you think it is a bit stupid asking for the sources of a journalist on a public forum?

Frank
Frank
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

ohhh ! Looks like Yacine just called you out Shadina.K….on a public forum ! You gonna let that slide ?

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Frank

Don’t try to deflect attention from the sheer stupidity of your question. Here I say it again to you:
“Don’t you think it is a bit stupid asking for the sources of a journalist on a public forum?”
Get over it now!
Now I do not mind it if Shabina (not Shadina) deletes this. 🙂

Frank
Frank
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

And why exactly can they not cite their source ? I really did think you were taking a dig Shabina for not attributing their source , even if (IF) that article was PR fluff. But no, instead you felt the need to go calling people names. This is not Seymour Hersch reporting about the alleged OBL take down, and unable to name names. We are talking about a flour mills conversion into an art gallery. You need to (a) calm your @$$down (b) stop posting on the hour on DN ,unless that is what you do (c) if you feel the need for another snarky comeback, see A again , or as you said it , get over it 😉 !

Waveydavey
Waveydavey
5 years ago

Yawn. I’m pretty sure hey could have come up with something a lot more interesting. What about something like techniquest. We have one in South Wales. It’s a place where children and families go and learn through fun. With the heat during the summer it would be a great place for children to go and spend their time…I went a few times as a kid and loved it!!!
http://www.techniquest.org

Rane de Beer
Rane de Beer
5 years ago

Sounds good, but hope it will also include studios for upcoming artists (fine art, pottery etc), spaces for creative workshops and an informal art market. And turn those parking areas into a tree-covered oasis, with an affordable coffee/book shop – a type of park-meets-waterfront feel. I would definitely go. Another sterile building with high-end shops we don’t need

Expat Artist
Expat Artist
5 years ago
Reply to  Rane de Beer

For emerging artists, Doha has the Fire Station Artist in Residence – now open, and launching with first residencies in September. As well as artists’ studios, this building has a gallery space, cinema, cafe and bookshop. There are informal art markets at MiA Park and Katara during the winter months.

Together with MIA, NMoQ, Mathaf, Al Markhiya Gallery, Anima Gallery, VCUQ – all of these things are contributing positively to Qatar’s cultural infrastructure. As well as developing into a distinct cultural destination, Qatar is also becoming an attractive place for creative people to come and work.

All of this must be good – and it is perfectly possible to have it all – science and technology, as well as art and culture – especially in Qatar!! A lovely blend of everything results in an interesting place to live and work.

http://www.qm.org.qa/en/fire-station-artist-residence
http://www.katara.net/english/event/qatart-handicraft-market/
http://www.mia.org.qa/en/mia-park/park-bazaar

Lincoln II
Lincoln II
5 years ago

I was asked to summarise my thoughts in one line? Now, how can I do that? How can someone
summarise the whole world or the whole life in one “line”?

You can say; “life is beautiful”, but is this true? Yes it is, but not all people experience this, not all the time so the sentence “life is beautiful” is not alone true.

What I was talking about was our whole existence though history and even to day we are digging and
digging in the ground for what? For traces of our past. Now, why do we do that?

We do to understand not only the past but our lives to day and for the future. As well I was asked from
Yacine and I can see there is a sincere wish to transfer this new possible museum into:

“I hope to read one day that an old building is transformed into a high-tech factory, a scientific research lab, a pharmaceutical company, etc. Just anything that is useful and has tangible benefits”.
Quote.

I must say, that I agree fully, but if we do not keep records of the past (in museums) we looses our inspirations. I
will tell you the truth:

Living in Europe is not always a blessing and as far as I see it there are a lot of problems in the world outside Europe as well. How I wish things would be different and we all could live in peace and harmony and I surly see so many possibilities.

Therefore these museums are very important. When we get inspiration and we develop so many other things.

When we see something we do not like, we turn to safeguard ourselves and turn to our
families and even up build strength to take care of others.

I would like us to be very good friends and live in peace with each other.

In my country, Denmark we are trying to do good things and help others, but we are not always in the very best position. We make mistakes and we do a lot of politics.

But out of this I hope will come a better world. Therefore we need our artists and therefore our museums. It gives
us time to reflect, to “come back”, when we get lost. Therefore I hope you will have another beautiful museum and the world will come to you.

We here in Scandinavia are building another big airport to lounge Boring 787 to connect Doha with Copenhagen. We really need each other and we shall come to meet you and you are welcome here. You can always rely on myself and if you need any guideline for travelling in Denmark please write.

Once I went to this beautiful museum Rudolph Tegner. I was lucky that they would have an exhibition of one of my paintings in my private art collection. A Jackson Pollock painting from 1948. It is a very large one, but try to imagine it holds a mans mind and life. As I wrote in my first comment here; look up on You Tube, title: Jackson Pollock a genius of our time. You will se this beautiful painting as well as other things.

Maybe this painting should be hanging in you new museum?

qatari
qatari
5 years ago

what a stupid way to wast money

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