Art Jameel Wants You to Design a Cinema in Jeddah

Could this be the region’s new cultural capital?

The region is no stranger to open calls to seek out local talent. One of the latest organisations to join the search is Art Jameel – the independent art institution.have just announced a competition that invites budding architects and emerging designers to submit their pitches for a chance to design a new 200-seat cinema that’s set to be built in Jeddah.


“We are delighted today to announce this unique opportunity for architects and designers from the Gulf and around the world to take part in imagining a picture house cinema for Saudi Arabia”, said Art Jameel director Antonia Carver in a statement.


The winner will get to design the space inside the Hayy Creative Hub, a 17,000 square-metre art complex which will open in 2020. In addition to scoring the contract, a prize of $15,000 will be awarded to the recipient, with the second and third runners-up set to receive $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.


As for the competition qualifiers, all nationalities are welcome, but as expected, Art Jameel does ask that entrants “have links to, and a meaningful understanding of the various cultural scenes of the Gulf and the Arab World”—and not least, for sustainability to be a major benchmark.


The announcement comes less than a year after the Kingdom lifted its 35-year ban on cinema. Since then Saudi Arabia has taken major strides towards enriching its cultural scene, and with the new development in play, Jeddah is well on its way to becoming it’s cultural capital.


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