The Museum of Civilizations, presented by GM Architects at Venice Biennale of Architecture 2014, has been nominated for an award at The World Architecture Festival in Singapore. The World Architecture Festival is the world’s largest festival and live awards competition dedicated to celebrating, and sharing architectural excellence from across the globe.
GM Architects, the only Lebanese architecture and design firm to take part in the 2014 Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition presented Museum of Civilizations at the Time Space Existence Exhibition at Palazzo Bembo in Venice’s San Marco district.
The design of the Museum of Civilizations incorporates the historical basis of the architectural culture of Lebanon, from the Roman Empire to the more recent French occupation. The museum is intended to be sited in Martyr’s square, Beirut, where it will take the form of a dug-out excavation which visitors will enter via a 20×60 metre scaffolding system, with viewing platforms at different levels.
Each platform will be a museum in itself, housing its own exhibition of a civilization that once encompassed Lebanon – in particular the civilisations that underline Beirut, a city which has been Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and French. Below this scaffold will be a vast pool of water which will represent the Mediterranean basin, the origin of all of these civilizations.
GM Architects’ project was one of over 400 projects to enter the prize – from schools to cinemas, museums to mosques – and in itself is both archaeological dig, exhibition space and a place for quiet reflection. GM Architects describe their process as “contextual immersion”- possessing an awareness of the past and rooted in the culture of the present location.
GM Architects: Museum of Civilizations, 1 – 3 October, World Architecture Festival, Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. For more information visit www.worldarchitecturefestival.com.
1. A view of the museum from the monolith. Image © GM Architects
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