Limestone Shapes the Palestinian Museum

Jun 06

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the Palestinian Museum in Birzeit, West Bank, is gaining architectural acclaim for its use of limestone. The museum contains exhibit spaces, an outdoor theater, indoor/outdoor cafes, classrooms, and more.

Following an international search in 2011, the project was awarded to Dublin-based Heneghan Peng. The goal of the project was to create a museum dedicated to Palestinian culture, while paying homage to terraced landscapes along the West Bank.

According to the firm’s website, the “cascade of terraces tells a diversity of stories, citrus brought in through trade routes, native aromatic herbs, and a rich and varied landscape with connections east and west.”

The design includes a series of stone-walled terraces. Architects chose limestone to shape the exterior of the building, including the sweeping terraces.


“Every element of the landscape of Palestine tells a story of intervention, production, culture, environment, and commerce,” architects tell “Dezeen” Magazine. “Embedded in its terraces is this rich and very particular history.”

The limestone slabs are a part of the buildings facades, creating what looks like a monument rising from the hilltop.

The Palestinian Museum is relying on touring exhibits while curators work on a permanent collection.

Original article appears here.

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