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In pictures: Heneghan Peng completes Giza Museum shell

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Heneghan Peng has completed the concrete shell on its competition-winning Grand Egyptian Museum project which is now due to complete in 2018

Also known as the Giza Museum, the 100,000m² project for the Egyptian Ministry of Culture is being erected on a 50 hectare site around two kilometers from the ancient pyramids.

According to the architect construction of the building’s concrete structure has now completed and the roof is now starting to go on.

The new attraction will feature a 24,000m² permanent exhibition space, a children’s museum, conference centre, conservation centre and gardens.

Heneghan Peng won the high-profile £500 million project twelve years ago in an open architectural which received more than 1,500 entries.

A foundation stone was laid in 2002 but it was not until 2012 when a contract was awarded for the building’s construction and the scheme started on site. The project is now set to complete in 2018.

Heneghan Peng's competition-winning Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, Egypt

The architect’s view

The site for the Grand Egyptian Museum is located at the edge of the first desert plateau between the pyramids and Cairo. It is defined by a 50m level difference, created as the Nile carves its way through the desert to the Mediterranean, a geological condition that has shaped Egypt for over 3,000 years. 

The pyramids, funerary monuments, are located in the desert on the plateau 2km from the museum site, while the site for the museum is located both in the valley and on the plateau.

The design of the museum utilises the level difference to construct a new ‘edge’ to the plateau, a surface defined by a veil of translucent stone that transforms from day to night. The museum exists between the level of the Nile Valley and the plateau, never extending above the plateau.

A 3-dimensional structure inscribed by a set of visual axes from the site to the three pyramids defines the framework within which the museum emerges, from the overall scale of the site to the smallest of details.

The approach to the museum is a series of layers, whereby the visitor moves through a monumental forecourt, a shaded entrance area and a grand staircase that ascends to plateau level, the level at which the galleries are located where for the first time the visitor sees the pyramids from within the museum.

The museum is envisaged as a cultural complex of activities devoted to Egyptology and will contain 24,000m² of permanent exhibition space, almost 4 football fields in size, a children’s museum, conference and education facilities, a large conservation centre and extensive gardens on the 50hA site. The collections of the museum include the Tutankhamen collection, that is currently housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and the Solar Boat that is now housed beside the pyramids.

Heneghan Peng's competition-winning Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, Egypt

Project data

Client Ministry of Culture, Egypt
Size 100,000m²
Location Giza, Egypt
Architect (Cairo) RMC
Structural, Civil, and Traffic Arup and ACE (Cairo)
Building services Buro Happold and Shaker Engineering (Cairo)
Design team management Davis Langdon
QS Davis Langdon
Facade engineering Arup
IT, Security, Fire and Acoustics Buro Happold
Landscape West 8 and Sites (Cairo)
Specialist lighting Bartenbach LichtLabor
Signage Bruce Mau Design
Exhibition masterplanning Metaphor
Museology Cultural Innovations


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