Three New Museums in Doha

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, announced the development of three major new museums: Art Mill: architect Alejandro Aravena/ELEMENTAL; Lusail Museum: architect Jacques Herzog/Herzog & de Meuron and 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 of Qatar.

As well as art exhibition and performance galleries, the Art Mill will have a village for Qatari creatives, spaces for residency programs, production facilities and more.

The Art Mill, built at 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 programs, production facilities, a village for Qatari creative industries, the Dhow Centre, and gardens.

Alejandro Aravena, of ELEMENTAL said, “We have never done a museum before, and so we ourselves are examples of the creative economy as something that requires trust. One of its opportunities is that you can bet on people. With the Art Mill, we are trying to trigger some consequences for local industry even before construction starts. The Art Mill will not just be a perfectly finished object but an opportunity for young designers, artisans, craftspeople in Qatar to come together to deliver the knowledge they have accumulated and contribute to the building, so that it not only houses a great collection but expands to more popular audiences.”

Designed by Herzog & de Meuron, Lusail will become 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 more than 52,000 square metres of galleries, an auditorium, library, dedicated learning spaces, and more among its four floors.

Jacques Herzog said, “As this project has gone forward, it has become more like what Qatar itself tries to be, which is a platform for exchange and debate—putting things on the table, and not just saying polite things. This debate aspect is important to a museum where the collection is about how the East and West has been in exchange about political, social, and cultural issues from long ago. That becomes the main topic. The building is a kind of vessel that inside has a complex topography, a clash of fragments of different places and functions. What we have learned during this process, to make space for that aspect of dialogue, is what will make the project important for Qatar and for us.”

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—the Museum of Islamic Art, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, and the National Museum of Qatar—as well as the new 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum that was inaugurated this last week of March. Currently in development is Dadu, Children’s Museum of Qatar: the only institution of its kind in the region, where children can learn and grow through play, exploration, and experimentation in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

Also part of the dialogue was Najla El Zein, a designer for the Flag Plaza that will be a focal point of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Introducing the Doha Forum panel discussion, HE Sheikha Al Mayassa said, “I am here today not only as a contributor to developing Qatar’s cultural institutions but as someone who is dedicated to helping my country realize its ambitious National Vision, so we can build the Qatar we want for our children and our citizens. 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.”

New Auto Museum Introduced

The Auto Museum will be designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), led by Pritzker Architecture Prize winning architect Rem Koolhaas. An exhibition introducing the project, is on view till January 20, 2023 outside NMOQ.

This is one museum that fits right into the profile of the country, with the four-wheel-obsession of its inhabitants. The exhibition on show now explores the significance of automotive design in the 20th century and the impact of automobiles on culture, previewing the content of the new museum. The exhibition, presented both inside and outside the museum, includes three iconic cars from Qatar Museums’ collection and approximately 20 unique cars on loan from members of the Qatar Auto Museum advisory board and Qatar’s community of automobile enthusiasts.

Sheikh Jouan – 1955 BMW, 300 SL “Gullwing“. Photo by: Talha Belal (

 The Qatar Auto Museum will be located along the Lusail Express Way between the 5/6 Park and Katara Cultural Village, in the former exhibition centre building that hosted the first Qatar Motor Show in 2011. Qatar Museums is working with OMA on designs to transform the building. Development will begin after the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy has concluded its operations for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa Bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairperson of Qatar Museums, said, “From sporting events like Formula 1 races to classic car shows, car culture has an expansive presence in Qatar. We are thrilled to present this exhibition, which reflects our passions as auto enthusiasts, during a year when so many visitors will come to Doha to celebrate the World Cup. The exhibition showcases our culture while introducing an exciting new institution dedicated to providing an inspiring educational and  technological  experience for all. Qatar Auto Museum will serve as an innovative community hub for auto enthusiasts, students, collectors, engineers, and all who appreciate the impact on our world of the emergence and evolution of the automobile.”

The Qatar Auto Museum advances Qatar Museums’ legacy of work surrounding car culture, which includes assembling a world-class collection of automobiles, hosting several auto-themed exhibitions, and dedicating a gallery at the National Museum to vintage cars with the support of the Sealine Sports Club (Mawater). A Sneak Peek at Qatar Auto Museum Project introduces the concept design for a new museum that will bring Qatar’s expanding car community under one roof.

The 30,000-square-meter (320,000-square-foot) museum will include permanent galleries that track the evolution of the automobile from its invention through today and how it has influenced culture in Qatar, and temporary exhibition spaces for the display of high-profile vehicles — from supercars and limited editions to race cars and classic cars. Additional facilities will include an Edutainment Center and Workshop Spaces, as well as areas dedicated to children’s activities such as driving simulators, mini car mechanics, kids driving areas, and more.