The courtyard of the building to house Fire Station: Artists in Residence programme.
Doha: Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) yesterday unveiled plans to transform Doha Fire Station into an artist in residence programme called ‘Fire Station: Artists in Residence’.
It will present the opportunity for exchanges between local artists, academia, the community and the flourishing art scene. It will provide 24 studios and gallery space for exhibition and community interaction.
Noor Abuissa, Assistant Curator, said: “The gallery space will support local artists whether in residence or not and allow for cultural dialogue and exchange between artists in Qatar and the rest of the world.
The nine-month Artist in Residency programme will first open to citizens and residents and later to regional artists.
In addition to weekly mentoring programmes, artists will have access to QMA museums, special exhibitions, lectures and access to interact with curators.
Their residency will culminate in an exhibition in the Garage Gallery to showcase their productions.
Hala Al Khalifa, Head of the programme, said: “The Doha Fire Station is a building of great importance to the community; it has served the community the 30 years and will continue to do so through arts with a new identity. Our goal is to support artists in Qatar and provide a platform for creative exchange.”
The station was built in 1982 as a Civil Defence building. It was occupied by the fire brigade until late 2012 when it was handed over to QMA for preservation and conservation.
As Qatar puts emphasis on preserving old architecture, this is an example of recycling a building for contemporary use. The existing tower will allow the community to be aware of activities at the station.
The project is led by Qatari architect Ibrahim Al Jeidah, who has retained much of the original building. The first phase of the development is due to complete later this year.