Art News

Architects of New AlUla Museums Announced

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

Lina Ghotmeh and Asif Khan. Photography by Luke Walker. Image courtesy Royal Commission for AlUla

Lina Ghotmeh and Asif Khan have been selected as the architects of AlUla’s new contemporary art museum and museum of the Incense Road respectively, the Royal Commission for AlUla has announced.

An MBE awardee, Khan is currently working on the renovation of the Barbican Centre and the new London Museum. Ghotmeh, whose work brings together art, architecture and design, is designing the 2023 Serpentine Pavilion.

The architects were chosen through an international competition judged by a panel of key stakeholders and specialists in architecture, landscape and museology, chaired by Dr Khaled Azzam.

Azzam is the architect of AlUla’s Journey Through Time Masterplan, a government initiative to transform the historic site into an international tourist destination and jumpstart economic diversification in line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 goals.

The two new museums are the first of 15 cultural assets being developed as part of the Journey Through Time Masterplan.

The contemporary art museum will offer a collection of works by artists from regions connecting the Red Sea, the Arabian Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean as well as international artists, alongside a programme of commissions. Integrated into the AlUla landscape, it will be structured as a mosaic of pavilion galleries and artist gardens.

The museum of the Incense Road will be the world’s first museum dedicated to exploring north-west Arabia as a historic hub of cultural and economic exchange. It will also highlight ongoing archaeological excavation in AlUla. Located in AlJadidah village, the institution’s programming will be guided by subject experts and the local community and developed in collaboration with local and international specialists in museology.