Edward Cullinan Architects has been shortlisted to design the Palestinian Museum, near Ramallah on the West Bank
The other finalists in the contest for the ‘museum hub’ at Birzeit University are Irish stars Heneghan Peng, Canadians Moriyama & Teshima, Danish practice Henning Larsen Architects and Consolidated Consultants from Jordan.
RIBA Royal Gold Medallist Ted Cullinan is a supporter of the pressure group Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine (APJP), which objects to the ‘separation fence’ and the construction of Israeli settlements on disputed territory; illegal under international law.
In 2007, the body published a petition in the Times, signed by leading architects including Will Alsop, former RIBA president Jack Pringle, Terry Farrell, George Ferguson and Cullinan, that opposed three major projects which, it argued, symbolised Israel’s ‘unethical’ seizure of Palestinian land (AJ 24.05.07).
The museum is being billed as a ‘leading platform for non-partisan narratives about Palestinians’ and will follow the 10,000-year old history of the region. The winner of the competition will develop the masterplan and design phase one.
Following a pre-qualification process of 40 invited entries, client body the Palestinian Museum taskforce for the Welfare Association has whittled the list down to the final five, with the winner expected to be announced within a week.
UK-based firms working in Palestine include emerging practice Pie Architecture, which is designing a masterplan for 2,500 houses in East Jerusalem.