Architects Lina Ghotmeh and Asif Khan appointed for two major museums in AlUla, Saudi Arabia

Architects Lina Ghotmeh and Asif Khan appointed for two major museums in AlUla, Saudi Arabia

The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) announces Lina Ghotmeh and Asif Khan as architects for two upcoming museums in its constellation of cultural assets. Ghotmeh will design the contemporary art museum and Khan will design the museum of the Incense Road. Both museums are situated in AlUla, a destination in northwest Arabia with 7,000 years of continuous human history.

Khan, who was awarded an MBE for his services to architecture and is currently working on the renewal of the Barbican Centre and the new London Museum, is known for his radical approach to architecture, which merges history with the future, grounding projects in material experimentation and social context.

Award winning Ghotmeh, who is designing the 2023 Serpentine Pavilion, creates work that sits at the intersection of art, architecture and design. Her practice is developed through a process of thorough historical research, emerging in complete symbiosis with nature as exquisite interventions that enliven memories and the senses.

The architects for the two museums were selected through a global competition. The jury, consisting of experts in architecture, landscape, and museology, along with a technical panel, was led by Dr. Khaled Azzam, the architect behind AlUla’s Journey Through Time Masterplan.

We are excited to announce the appointed architects to these two significant museums – the first of 15 cultural assets being developed as part of AlUla’s Journey Through Time Masterplan. AlUla is a spectacular landscape of discovery, where heritage, works of nature and humankind combine to reveal a long and intimate relationship between people and their environment. This Masterplan will guide the reinvigoration of AlUla establishing a new cultural legacy including the implementation of a circular economy expected to create 38,000 new jobs. – Dr Khaled Azzam – Architect, Journey Through Time Masterplan, Royal Commission for AlUla


About the Architects

Lina Ghotmeh 

Lina Ghotmeh, courtesy Royal Commission for AlUla, photo by Luke Walker

Based in Paris, Lina Ghotmeh is a renowned architect who leads her multidisciplinary practice, Lina Ghotmeh — Architecture. Her exceptional works embody a harmonious connection with the environment, evoking emotions and memories. Ghotmeh’s impressive portfolio includes notable projects such as the Ateliers Hermès, the first low carbon and energy-positive building in France, the Stone Garden tower and gallery spaces in Beirut (winner of the Dezeen Architecture of the Year 2021 Prise), and the Estonian National Museum (recipient of the Grand Prix Afex 2016). Her accolades include prestigious awards like the Schelling Prize 2020 and the Tamayouz “Woman of Outstanding Achievement” 2020. Ghotmeh’s works have been exhibited worldwide, including at renowned venues like the Venice Architecture Biennale, MAXXI in Rome, and Cooper Hewitt in New York. She is also actively involved in academia, having held positions such as the Louis I Khan professor at Yale and the Gehry Chair at the University of Toronto.

“The architecture of the contemporary art museum in AlUla immerses visitors in a creative journey from the desert expanse to the lush cultural oasis of AlUla, interweaving the natural environment, agriculture, and art to reveal the heart of contemporary culture. Through a series of garden pavilions, the museum presents a constant interplay between art and nature, capturing the essence of this unique place. The galleries offer surprising and anchored perspectives on the many facets of AlUla, from the microclimates of the oasis to the expanse of the desert, evoking a deep sense of attachment to the land and its heritage.” . – Lina Ghotmeh, architect, contemporary art museum in AlUla

Asif Khan

AlUla resonated with me deeply as did the local community members I met. The design takes the form of a public space, not a museum within walls, situated in AlJadidah village with galleries and spaces for sensory experiences and learning. The mountains are a constant background, whose sand dunes reach down to greet the edges of the museum, while stepped terraces of gardens act as a new interface between the village and the oasis. I am excited about how the museum of the Incense Road can be brought into the collective memory of the world, and become a transformative asset for the local community. – Asif Khan, architect, museum of the Incense Road

Asif Khan, courtesy Royal Commission for AlUla, photo by Luke Walker

Establishing his London-based practice in 2007, Asif Khan is an architect known for his versatile designs encompassing buildings, landscapes, installations, exhibitions, and objects. His creative focus lies in crafting sensory experiences, fostering cultural exchange, and merging historical elements with futuristic visions. Khan is presently engaged in several prominent projects, including the renewal of the Barbican Art Centre, the forthcoming London Museum (scheduled to open in 2026), and the transformation of Liverpool Canning Dock waterfront—a site significant to the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Notable achievements include his public realm design spanning 6.5km at Dubai Expo 2020, featuring carbon-fibre Entry Portals honoured with the Dezeen public award in 2021 and nominated for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Khan has been recognized with accolades such as the Grand Prix for Innovation (Cannes 2014) and Architect of the Year (German Design Council 2017). His works have been exhibited at prestigious venues worldwide, including the Royal Academy of Arts, V&A, Milan Salone, Milan Triennale, Gwangju Design Biennale, Design Museum London, London Design Week, Tokyo Design Week, and currently at MAAT Lisbon. Khan’s passion for education led him to teach at the Royal College of Art and Musashino Art University in Tokyo. In 2017, he was honoured with an MBE for Services to Architecture and presently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Design Museum in London.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

selections-arts-logo

SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.

RANDOM READS

The Custodian: Artistic Visionaries: Hady Sy

Rima Nasser: Can you briefly describe your relationship with the Dalloul Foundation and how their support has influenced your artistic career? Hady Sy: My relationship with DAF starts primarily with the personal friendship that I have with Basel Dalloul that…

‘Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive’ by Refik Anadol at Serpentine Gallery

Serpentine presents ‘Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive,’ a captivating exhibition showcasing the latest works by the esteemed artist and AI innovator, Refik Anadol. Running from February 16th to April 7th, 2024, at Serpentine North, this exhibition promises to immerse…

Artistic Unity: Art in the UAE. Tabari Artspace interview with Hazem Harb

This article appeared in The Artistic Unity Issue #67 that was dedicated to the art scene in the UAE in which we unravel the threads of unity by exploring the perspectives of various stakeholders within the UAE’s art community. Through…

‘On the Roster, Highlighting Elmarsa Gallery’s Represented Artists’ at Elmarsa Gallery Dubai

Elmarsa Gallery announces its upcoming exhibition, ‘On the Roster, Highlighting Elmarsa Gallery’s Represented Artists’ a comprehensive exploration of the artistic endeavours undertaken by the gallery’s cadre of represented artists. The exhibition will be held at Elmarsa Gallery in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai,…

‘Flames’ by Jean Boghossian at Anima Gallery Doha

Jean Boghossian’s solo exhibition ‘Flames,’ hosted by Anima Gallery in Doha, Qatar, serves as a testament to his evolution from a jeweller to an artist. Coming from a background deeply rooted in jewellery craftsmanship, Boghossian’s early artistic endeavours were shaped…

The Custodian: Artistic Visionaries: Inaya Hodeib

Rima Nasser: Can you tell us how your relationship with the Dalloul Art Foundation began and your perspective on it as an artist? Inaya Hodeib: I connected with Basel online in 2014, he reached out with a “hello I love…

february 2024

24oct(oct 24)09:0017feb(feb 17)09:00Growing Kopi, Drinking Qahwa; Stories of Coffee in Qatar and Indonesia

26oct(oct 26)09:0005mar(mar 5)09:00'MEHDI MOUTASHAR: INTROSPECTION AS RESISTANCE'

10nov09:0010mar09:00Armenia Contemplating the sacred