GM Architects, the only Lebanese architecture and design firm to be taking part in the 2014 Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition, is delighted to present its ‘Museum of Civilizations’ project at the ‘Time Space Existence’ Exhibition at Palazzo Bembo in Venice’s San Marco district.
The museum design addresses the Biennale’s theme Fundamentals by exploring the historical basis of architectural culture of Lebanon, from the Roman Empire to the more recent French occupation. The museum will be sited in Martyr’s square, Beirut, and take the form of an excavation in the earth where the visitors will enter the excavation on a scaffolding system that is 20 meters by 60 meters in area, with platforms at different levels.
Each platform will be an exhibition of a civilization that once encompassed Lebanon and in particular into the successive strata of the civilisations that underline Beirut, a city which has been, in turn, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and French. The floor of the site is an expanse of water, meant to represent the Mediterranean basin, the origin of all of these civilizations.
“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”, said Galal Mahmoud, the founder of GM Architects.
“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.”
Location: Beirut, Lebanon
Architects: GM Architects
Article by Marco Rinaldi