Open Architecture

Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM)

giza, greater cairo, egypt


The international competition for a new Egyptian Museum was the second largest design invitation in history with over 1600 entries from 82 countries.

Award of Merit for Outstanding Design

A 50 hectare site was appointed in direct view and proximity to the Giza pyramids. The new museum would replace the existing facility in downtown Cairo and would be more than triple the current exhibit area and research / restoration programs. Our design would focus on a highly refined and timeless modern aesthetic robust in scale and nuanced by referential intent.

Working with enormous program requirements, our design broke the museum into three separate galleries / massing components.

The Reception Hall (facing Giza) would greet and orient tourists. The large Hall would feature the museum’s larger statues.

A second gallery would be dedicated to historic chronologies and artifacts from each time frame. This gallery would culminate at the largest exhibit, King Tut.

The third component is dedicated to the working archaeological restorative laboratories.

The complex introduces an immense water/river feature directly oriented toward Giza and flowing between the three buildings, symbolizing the Nile. The water system would be the common bond of the museums’ aggregate parts and pay homage to the ancient river itself.



Egyptian Ministry of Culture / UNESCO


Museum / International Competition


50 hectares / 120 acres


480,000 SM / 5,200,000 SF

Projected Cost

$795 million


Complete Entry