Chile’s Alejandro Aravena bests Adam Khan to prize

A firm run by the director of last year’s Venice Biennale has beaten runner-up Adam Khan Architects to land a competition to design a cultural centre in Qatar.

Chile-based Elemental, which is led by Chilean architect Alejandro Aravena, the 2016 Pritzker Prize winner, beat seven others to land the Art Mill International Design Competition.

The firm said the scheme for the 83,500sq m waterfront site in Doha has taken its inspiration from the grain silos that form part of the Flour Mills at the site.

The site extends into Doha Bay, with the Arabian Sea on three sides, and adjoins the park around IM Pei’s Museum of Islamic Art and is also close to Jean Nouvel’s forthcoming National Museum of Qatar.


Elemental Qatar museum

Work on the winning design will start later this year


Organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, the competition initially received 489 submissions from 56 countries before this was whittled down to a longlist of 26 which included David Chipperfield and Heneghan Peng.

Competition juror Harry Gugger, a former partner at Herzog & de Meuron and a special adviser to Qatar Museums, said: “Elemental won in brilliant fashion, being both inventive and indefatigable.

Other beaten finalists, who each received an honorarium of £30,000, included Renzo Piano and Japanese practice Atelier Bow-Wow.

Work is expected to start later this year although no completion date has been given. Qatar is due to host the 2022 World Cup.