The Arabian Gulf port, where the Art Mill will be built.
Malcolm Reading The Arabian Gulf port, where the Art Mill will be built.

Eight architecture firms have been shortlisted for the Art Mill International Design Competition, being held by Qatar Museums in Doha, Qatar. With members hailing from four countries, the nine-person jury decided to expand the previously allotted five slots to eight for the third stage of the competition. The eight finalists include Adam Khan Architects, in London; Atelier Bow-Wow, in Tokyo; EAA Emre Arolat Architecture, in Instanbul; Junya.Ishigami + Associates, in Tokyo; Mangado & Asociados, in Pamplona, Spain; Renzo Piano Building Workshop, in Genova, Italy; Rice+Lipka Architects, in New York; and 2016 Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Alejandro Aravena’s firm, Elemental, in Santiago, Chile.

The octave was selected from 489 submissions that were narrowed to 28 between the first and second stages. Renderings from the shortlist have not been released, and those will be available in September when winner is announced, along with the proposed budget.

The jury's criteria focused on urban planning strategies and how the project would link to its surroundings, which include I.M. Pei, FAIA’s Museum of Islamic Art (MIA); Jean Nouvel, Hon. FAIA’s forthcoming National Museum of Qatar, which is currently under construction; and the city’s boardwalk, the Corniche. Qatar Museums, established in 2005 by Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to spur museum development, kicked off the call for submissions last year. Sitting on approximately 1 million square feet along the Arabian Gulf port, a major destination for flour imports, the Art Mill will take the place of the present-day Qatar Flour Mills, east of MIA, while the mill’s operations will be transferred to another location.

The competition brief calls for the architects to reuse and adapt the retired facilities, to pay homage to the city's milling history. It also called for extensive outdoor spaces for the 898,787-square-foot building as well as underground parking, and the interiors will have between 645,835 to 861,113 gross square feet. In addition to gallery and exhibitions, there will be facilities for education programs, conferences, and storage for the conservation departments.

The jury, which was also announced with the shortlist, includes Qatar’s Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani; Hassan Rashid Al-Derham, president of Qatar University; Harry Gugger, principal of Swiss firm Harry Gugger Studio; Akel I. Kahera, dean of Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar; John Leighton, director-general of the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh; Jasper Morrison, English designer of products and furniture; Hiroshi Sugimoto, a designer with offices in Tokyo and New York; and Chris Wise, director of Expedition Engineering in London.