Doha’s former Civil Defense headquarters is going to be transformed into an art center that focuses on “exchange between local artists, the community and the booming art scene in Qatar,” a Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) spokeswoman has told Doha News.
Over the past few months, the now-empty building has been partially dismantled, leading some to conclude that its days were numbered – and prompting questions about whether the roundabout it sits near would be renamed.
However, according to QMA, the work is simply part of the overhauling process, which involves transforming the shell of the old building and adding a new wing.
Civil Defense left the new building when its state-of-the-art headquarters in Wadi Al Sail opened in December 2012.
When completed, the new site, designed by Qatari architect Ibrahim Al Jaidah, will be renamed “The Doha Fire Station.”
The building, an initiative by the Public Arts Department, will host an Artists in Residence Program, offering studio space, supply shops and workshops to local artists. No further details about the program, such as whether artists will be offered the facilities free of charge, or how they will be selected, have been released.
The new center, however will host galleries, a café and children’s play areas, making it an interesting new venue for tourists and art enthusiasts.
According to the spokeswoman, the Doha Fire Station is expected to open by the end of this year.