qatar creates presents ‘building a creative nation’


At the upcoming 18th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, Qatar Creates will unveil the country’s next generation of monumental cultural institutions. The quintet of landmarks, including an art museum transformed from an old flour mill, and a creative school that pays tribute to vernacular urbanism and architecture, are being developed by Qatar Museums in collaboration with internationally acclaimed practices ELEMENTAL, Herzog & de Meuron, OMA, Philippe Starck, and UNStudio. Each project is set to be completed by the end of the decade and will stand as an architectural manifestation of the nation’s forward-looking cultural ambitions as well as the organization’s cultural nation-building program. 


From 14 May – 26 November, the scheme will be unveiled in a multimedia documentary exhibition titled Building a Creative Nation at the ACP – Palazzo Franchetti, alongside a range of renderings, photographs, models, and immersive content and more.

unveiling qatar's next generation of cultural landmarks at venice architecture biennale 2023
Art Mill Museum by ELEMENTAL | rendering © Qatar Museums



Lusail Museum by Herzog & de Meuron


Swiss architecture office Herzog & de Meuron’s Lusail Museum on Al Maha Island presents a dynamic platform for shaping a global future through dialogue and debate, art, and identity. Its complex typology, and rounded form punctuated with geometric openings supports notions of movement, identity, and exchange in synchronicity with the museum’s collection of 19th-century paintings, photography, film, fashion, and more. The museum’s form further reflects institutional and national goals to foster cultural interaction and understanding, notably with its anchor rooms that abstract Islamic dome typologies and represent important sites of cultural influence. The project is set to break ground shortly in 2023.

unveiling qatar's next generation of cultural landmarks at venice architecture biennale 2023
Lusail Museum by Herzog & de Meuron | rendering © Qatar Museums



Qatar Auto Museum by OMA


The OMA-designed Qatar Auto Museum will drive design, research, and innovation in new forms of mobility. Led by Rem Koolhaas, the firm’s concept adapts a strategically located convention center in Doha to develop a 30,000-square-meter structure activated with both permanent and temporary galleries, lab spaces, a vault storing the museum’s collection, a restoration center, and a children’s playground.

unveiling qatar's next generation of cultural landmarks at venice architecture biennale 2023
Qatar Auto Museum OMA | rendering © Qatar Museums



Qatar Preparatory School by Philippe Starck


French designer Philippe Starck will create Qatar’s first vocational school for the creative industries to revitalize creative production and develop a workforce to drive the new creative ecosystem. The new institution transforms a 2,300 sqm former boys’ school in Doha into a sustainable, interactive campus with minimal architectural intervention. The design shelters a large central courtyard with a tent-like membrane, regulating against Doha’s heated climate. Inside, 3D-printed clay walls, ventilation chimneys, and intricately patterned colonnades provide low-tech climatization systems while showcasing advanced architectural prefabrication techniques. As a tribute to Qatari vernacular urbanism, a public park and village of workshops, studios, and recreational pavilions surrounds the primary building, welcoming visitors to engage with the school and its surrounding green areas.

unveiling qatar's next generation of cultural landmarks at venice architecture biennale 2023
Qatar Preparatory School by Philippe Starck | rendering  © PHS / DEIS



Dadu, Children’s Museum of Qatar by UNStudio


Fostering learning and growth through inclusive, open-ended play and exploration in the heart of Doha, UNStudio’s DADU, Children’s Museum of Qatar is configured as an oasis of interactive indoor and outdoor experiences for families. The studio’s design concept conceives the building itself as an exploratory and educational tool for self-led learning journeys. Adopting the building block as its elemental form, the museum’s design comprises 15 architectural cubes enclosing a central space, surrounded by gardens.

unveiling qatar's next generation of cultural landmarks at venice architecture biennale 2023
DADU by UNStudio | rendering © Qatar Museums



Art Mill Museum by ELEMENTAL


Qatar’s new museum of international modern and contemporary art will reimagine an industrial flour mill along Doha’s waterfront into a series of tower-like flexible, multidisciplinary galleries. Conceived by Alejandro Aravena’s Chile-based practice ELEMENTAL, The Art Mill Museum set to open in 2030 centers on establishing porosity with the surrounding environment, reusing the original grain silos and encompassing it with an expansive garden. Dotted across the landscaped space will be several public venues including plazas and theatres, creating an outdoor cultural village that extends the creative exploration of the museum outside. Inside, it will house an international collection from 1850 to present day, displaying works across all creative disciplines from painting and sculpture to film and fashion.



project info: 


documentary exhibition: Building a Creative Nation

presented by: Qatar Creates

program: Venice Biennale 2023 – 18th International Architecture Exhibition

duration: May 20-November 26, 2023



Explore designboom’s ongoing coverage of the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale: The Laboratory of the Future here, and follow our dedicated channel on Instagram here.