With more than 6,800 km, the Nile is the longest river in Africa and for centuries it was considered to be the longest in the world. Located in the north-eastern part of the continent, it crosses 11 countries and has two major tributaries: the White Nile, which originates in Uganda and Kenya, named for the chalky colour of the sediment in its waters; and the Blue Nile, which originates in Ethiopia and is the source of most of the water in the river.
The ancient Egyptians only settled on the final 1,300 km of the Nile, where it was possible to navigate the waters. Without the Nile the ancient Egyptian empire would never have existed. The Egyptians were keenly aware of the great river’s importance, regarding it as the creator of the fertile lands on which they lived and even worshipped a god, named Hapi, who represented the Nile.
Because the sun set every evening in the West, symbolizing death, and was reborn every morning in the East, representing life and resurrection, the cities and towns were always built on the eastern shore of the Nile and the necropolises and funeral temples on the western shore. The annual Nile floods marked the rhythm of life of its inhabitants for millennia, until the construction of the great Aswan dam in 1970 eliminated the annual flood cycle for good.
After passing through Aswan the Nile continues its journey through dams toward Luxor, a region that contains the majority of the cultural and historical sites, including the most spectacular monuments in Egypt, many of which have been declared World Heritage sites by UNESCO. The section of the river between Aswan and Luxor is where the majority of tourism is concentrated, mostly on board cruise ships, with more than 300 floating hotels and thousands of tourists disembarking on its shores every day to visit the different monuments.
Objective of the competition
The objective of this competition consists in conceiving of a museum that will submerge visitors in the ancient Nile. Thanks to its privileged location, the proposed space will become an obligatory stop for people visiting the river, as a preamble to the history, mythology and monuments that the region contains. A global focal point for tourism that is capable of transmitting the importance of the ancient Nile for the history of Humanity.
- Participants: Architecture students and young architects worldwide
- Registration: May 24, 2017 to September 22, 2017
- Submission: October 6, 2017
- Prize: € 6,375 + 1 year free subscription to El Croquis magazine + 1 year free subscription to AV Proyectos magazine + 1 year free subscription to WA Wettbewerbe Aktuell magazine
- Xander Vermeulen; Principal of XVW architectuur
- Silvia Perea; Curator of art and architecture
- Pilar Calderon; Architect, Co-founder of Calderon-Folch Studio
- Marisa Santamaría; Head of Institutional Relations and Special Projects of IED Madrid
- Ione Ruete; Manager of Barcelona Building Construmat
- Andrés González-Meneses; Winner of CaVA Arizona architecture competition
Source and images, Courtesy of Arquideas