This open competition included 1557 entries from 82 countries around the world.

The visual connection between the Pyramids and the site is of paramount importance in establishing a sense of location, orientation and direction for the Great Egyptian Museum at Giza. This is combined with the need to create a strong entrance sequence from the Cairo–Alexandria Road to inform the underlying geometry of the scheme.

The notion of a journey, similar to that of the navigational route to afterlife is explored through a monumental main entry hall. Like the processional routes at Karnac, the monumental hall is emphasized through a series of steps and ramps.

A sense of direction and visual clarity is combined with the desire to create a diverse range of spaces for both visitors and staff in laying out the component parts of the GEM. The public domain is clearly delineated at the entrance level by the change in elevation from the Plaza to the Exhibition areas.

Bridges extend over both the public Plaza and the atria between the Permanent Collection spaces to encourage a breakdown of the cultural and social walls which museums often create by the necessary division of the paid and unpaid areas. It is not enough to have large open areas given over to the public, these spaces need to be exciting and articulate in order to encourage visitors to explore deep into the heart of the complex.

Project in collaboration with Mark Von Hof Zogrotski and Samantha Schweitzer.

Location: Giza, Egypt

Date: 2002

Size: 167,000 m2