Museum of the Ancient Nile

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MoAN1132

MoAN - 1132
Universidade Lusíada / pt Portugal
1 miembros
Leonor  Marques Mano Domingos

Tipo de proyecto:
Edificios Públicos

MoaN, is a Museum born from the fusion of the ancient architecture of egypt, and the contemporary new forms of the XXI century. As we go in, it seems we are entering one of the tombs of the Valley of the Kings, while on contrary, the high and building tell us we are entering one of the old temples, huge and monumental. It is not long after that that we find out it is a temple dedicated to Hapy, the God of the Nile, and at the large Courtyard we can see a big lake and a majestic statue of this deity.

Hapy is, in fact, a personification of the event of the flooding of the Nile, some even believe the ancient egyptians thought of him as the river itself, and because of this, one of the most important aspects of this building is water. From the moment we enter, we follow a path that rises just a bit above a “water mirror”, and as we go through the atrium to the courtyard, we walk right beside water. Although the design of the building is very symetrical, and its constructive elements are orthogonal, elements such as counters, water paths and promenades, and even the ramp that goes up from the Permanent Exhibits Room, are very organic. This is important, for the building represents manking, and the old egyptian ways of constructing, while the organic elements represent Hapy, the god that brings the flood, that brings growth to egypt.

The MoaN is slighty buried, due to the land itself, and that allows us to have two platforms nex to the entrance ramp, that are acessible from the street, and can be used for special events. Bellow these, by the level of the entrance of the museum, we have the restaurant “Delights of the Nile”, and on the other side, the archives of the museum, however, these can only be entered from inside. Now, inside the museum, our visit begins by the reception, on the great lobby, where suddenly the ceiling is much higher and the space much larger. This is possible thanks to the high pilar that serves as the center piece of the room. From here, we can go directly into Hapy’s Courtyard, or, enter into the exhibition areas. From there, we can go up through the large white concrete ramp all the way to the gigantic balcony that overlooks the Nile. This is a truly spectacular view, that really honors the Nile the way it should be. After taking in all its beauty, we can go down through stone staircase, that will lead us to the museum’s shop and all its goods. Next, is Hapy’s Courtyard, where we can walk among the water and palmtrees, and enjoy the sight of the big statue of the God. The building facade of the Courtyard is all glass, so we can observe the Courtyard from various points of view, from high to floor level.

It case of a conference, you can access the auditorium from the central lobby. The Museum also has a big workshop space, where all artworks can be either created or retouched, and the director’s office overlooks the space through a glass wall. All toilets in the Museum include toilets for disabled people, and besides the ramp and the stairs it has four elevators that give access to the balcony, so everyone can visit it.

When it comes to materials, the Museum is built mainly on limestone, the stone of the region, that gives it those earthy colours, and so it seems that the building disappears on the landscape around it. Only certain elements, such as the ramp and the balconies, are built in white concrete. The water of the museum comes from the river itself, but it is a rotative system, so as it comes in, it goes out aswell. The limestone walls and cross ventilation of the building allow it to remain cool inside, and as for energy, the lobby ceiling, is covered with solar panels, which allows the museum to run on clean energy.

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