Heneghen Peng Architects Design and Masterplan the Palestinian Museum
Published: Monday, January 09, 2012
Heneghan Peng Architects, Dublin-based designers of the Grand Egyptian Museum and the London Olympic Footbridge, will be responsible for the design and masterplanning of a phased development of the Palestinian Museum on an important site within the overall campus of Birzeit University, near to Ramallah. Over 40 architects submitted expressions of interest in the competition, organised by The Welfare Association, a leading Palestinian non-governmental development organisation dedicated toward furthering the progress of the Palestinians, preserving their heritage and identity, supporting their living culture and building civil society. Five practices were shortlisted and prepared initial conceptual and technical submissions. These were: Consolidated Consultants from Amman Jordan, Edward Cullinan Architects from London, Henning Larsen from Copenhagen, Moriyama & Teshima from Toronto and winners Heneghan Peng from Dublin.
A unique cultural project, the Palestinian Museum is being developed to become the primary and most authoritative source of knowledge and new thinking about Palestinian history, culture and contemporary life. Such a space does not currently exist and the museum is conceived as a thematic rather than simply a narrative museum, in which many different aspects of Palestinian history and culture will be explored in innovative and revealing ways, creating debate and discussion about both past and contemporary themes. The Palestinian Museum will be designed to be constructed in two phases with the first phase of 2,500m2 to be completed by 2014 to a construction budget of approximately US $8 million. The second phase will be in the order of 5,000m2 and will be developed following the opening of phase one. With a majority of Palestinians living today outside historic Palestine, the Museum is conceived as a ‘hub’, catering not only for the population in the West Bank but also a network of branches and associated centres, sharing with them information, research, web-based material and touring exhibitions, as well as human resources and expertise.
Heneghan Peng Architects was founded by Shih-Fu Peng and Róisín Heneghan in New York in 1999 and in 2001 was relocated to Dublin, Ireland. Current projects include the Grand Egyptian Museum, at the Pyramids, the Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre, Central Park Bridges at the 2012 London Olympic Park, a Library and School of Architecture at the University of Greenwich in Greenwich, London and a Mittelrheinbruecke in the Rhine Valley.