Riyadh, 25 September 2023 – A new arts and culture complex is being developed on a 100,000-square-meter 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 Saudi Ministry of Culture announced the development of the Irqah Creative Arts Lab, which will be dedicated to advancing the field of art and design, as well as supporting the creative community in Saudi Arabia, the region, and the world. The new facility will include the world’s first laboratory for bio-design and biomimicry, exploring the relationship between nature and design. ICAL will also house a training institute that will partner with international institutions to provide training opportunities for museum-related professions, as well as a specialized art 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 meter 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 endeavor, 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.