Opening of Irqah Creative Arts Lab

Opening of Irqah Creative Arts Lab

The Ministry of Culture of Saudi Arabia

September 29, 2023
Opening of Irqah Creative Arts Lab
Home for the local and international creative community
Irqah Creative Arts Lab (ICAL)
Saudi Arabia

A new arts and culture complex is being developed on a 100,000 square metre site north of Riyadh. Irqah Creative Arts Lab (ICAL) will provide a hub for cultural exchange, elevating and empowering artists and creatives from the Kingdom, the region and the world.

The new development, supported by the Saudi Ministry of Culture, is oriented towards the future of design and will include the world’s first laboratory for bio-design and bio-mimicry, exploring the relationship between nature and design. ICAL will also house a training institute that will partner with international bodies to provide training opportunities for museum-related professions, as well as a specialized arts library, an exhibition space, and a performing arts theatre, giving it the capacity to host cultural events and festivals. To encourage the youngest generation to explore their creative instincts, ICAL will have a dedicated 1,000 square metre space for children, called “Little Irqah”.

The Irqah Creative Arts Lab is being housed in the repurposed Irqah Hospital, which was built in the 1980s as a state-of-the-art health facility but had since fallen into disuse. The site will be renovated and brought back to life as a dynamic, creative, community hub that will contribute to shaping the future of art and culture. Repurposing this historic building and transforming it into a cultural asset is indicative of the Saudi Ministry of Culture’s commitment to preserving the country’s unique heritage, while working towards building a vibrant future.

Operating under the motto “Landscapes of Beauty”, the Irqah Creative Arts Lab invites artists, creatives and enthusiasts to explore new artistic practices and push the boundaries of artistic endeavour, while welcoming the wider public to participate in an immersive creative journey. ICAL is set to partially open in 2024, with full operation expected by 2026.

About the Ministry of Culture of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has a vast history of arts and culture. The Ministry of Culture is developing Saudi Arabia’s cultural economy and enriching the daily lives of citizens, residents, and visitors. Overseeing eleven sector-specific commissions, the Ministry is leading a cultural transformation to develop an abundant ecosystem that nurtures creativity, unlocks the economic potential of the sector and unleashes new and inspiring forms of expression.

*Images above: (2) Exterior view of Irqah Hospital site to be repurposed into Irqah Creative Arts Lab.

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The Ministry of Culture of Saudi Arabia
September 29, 2023

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