World’s Largest Museum, Grand Egyptian Museum, Captured Ahead of Opening in Egypt

Primary facade Grand Egyptian Museum at night. Image © Lina Shaker

In a momentous capture, the long-anticipated Grand Egyptian Museum, designed by Dublin studio Heneghan Peng Architects, has been unveiled ahead of its scheduled opening in Giza, Egypt, later this year. The stunning images, shared by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), showcase the monumental structure set against the iconic backdrop of the Pyramids of Giza.

Heneghan Peng Architects’ ambitious design for the Grand Egyptian Museum spans a staggering 90,000 square meters, making it the largest museum in the world. Envisioned to house over 100,000 pharaonic artifacts from Ancient Egypt, the museum’s scope goes beyond exhibition spaces. It includes a children’s museum, conference center, auditorium, conservation areas, and expansive gardens.

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The inception of plans for the Grand Egyptian Museum dates back to 1992 when former president Hosni Mubarak allocated a site just two kilometers from the Giza pyramids. However, it wasn’t until 2012 that construction commenced, following an international competition won by Heneghan Peng Architects, in collaboration with UK firms Arup and Buro Happold.

Despite initial projections for opening in 2018, political and economic challenges delayed the project. The current estimated opening, as per a third-party monitoring the museum’s progress, is set for late spring 2024.

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The release of images by IFC highlights the Grand Egyptian Museum’s achievement of IFC EDGE Advanced Green Building Certification, a testament to its commitment to sustainability. The museum, recognized as the first in Africa to receive such certification, boasts impressive resource efficiency measures resulting in substantial energy and water savings.

Upon completion, the museum will house a vast collection of pharaonic artifacts, including treasures from the tomb of King Tutankhamun, displayed in their entirety for the first time since their discovery in 1922. Among the notable exhibits will be the Khufu ship, a ritual vessel dating back to 2500 BC, discovered adjacent to the Great Pyramid.

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A sculpture of Egyptian pharaoh Rameses II

The museum’s design features a colossal entrance atrium, adorned with a 3,200-year-old sculpture of Egyptian pharaoh Rameses II, establishing visual connections with the nearby Pyramids of Giza. With over 4,000 square meters of permanent exhibition space, the museum promises an immersive journey through ancient Egyptian history.

Once completed, the Grand Egyptian Museum will claim the title of the world’s largest museum, surpassing the renowned Louvre in Paris, France, with its vast expanse of 73,000 square meters. As anticipation builds for its imminent opening, the Grand Egyptian Museum stands poised to become a beacon of cultural heritage and architectural marvel in the heart of Egypt’s historic landscape.

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