I first wrote about the “Museum of Civilization” back in June 2014, when Lebanese Design Firm GM Architects were presenting this museum design at the Time Space Existence exhibition of the 2014 Venice Biennale. The firm was the only one representing Lebanon and their project was aimed at addressing the Biennale’s theme of fundamentals by exploring the historical basis of architectural culture in the rich and varied context of their home country.
I thought their idea was a brilliant one and I’m really glad that they’re going to unveil it in 10 days, hoping that this project will see the light one day and transform Martyrs’ Square into a astonishing walk through Lebanon’s history.
Here’s a glimpse of how the museum will be built:
The ‘Museum of Civilizations’ project is sited on Martyrs’ Square in the heart of Beirut, and built upon a site sunk deep into the successive strata of the civilizations that underlie Beirut, a city which has been, in turn, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and French. This astonishing museum will be an archaeological dig, exhibition space and a place for quiet reflection all in one – an expression of Lebanon’s rich history, showcasing the genetic make-up of a profoundly multicultural country. Our emphatically contemporary design is informed by an approach that is best defined as ‘contextual immersion’ – possessing an awareness of the past and rooted in the culture of the location in question.
The unveiling is taking place on March 24 at the Metropolitan Art Society in Achrafieh from 6 till 9 and the exhibition will run until April 24 (Excluding Mondays) from 11am till 7pm.