heneghan peng architects

The Grand Egyptian Museum | Giza, Egypt

Giza, Egypt

The site for the Grand Egyptian Museum is located at the edge of the first desert plateau between the pyramids and Cairo. It is defined by a 50m level difference, created as the Nile carves its way through the desert to the Mediterranean, a geological condition that has shaped Egypt for over 3,000 years. 

The pyramids, funerary monuments, are located in the desert on the plateau 2km from the museum site, while the site for the museum is located both in the valley and on the plateau.

The design of the museum utilises the level difference to construct a new ‘edge’ to the plateau, a surface defined by a veil of translucent stone that transforms from day to night. The museum exists between the level of the Nile Valley and the plateau, never extending above the plateau.

A 3-dimensional structure inscribed by a set of visual axes from the site to the three pyramids defines the framework within which the museum emerges, from the overall scale of the site to the smallest of details.

The approach to the museum is a series of layers, whereby the visitor moves through a monumental forecourt, a shaded entrance area and a grand staircase that ascends to plateau level, the level at which the galleries are located where for the first time the visitor sees the pyramids from within the museum.

The museum is envisaged as a cultural complex of activities devoted to Egyptology and will contain 24,000m² of permanent exhibition space, almost 4 football fields in size, a children’s museum, conference and education facilities, a large conservation centre and extensive gardens on the 50hA site. The collections of the museum include the Tutankhamen collection, that is currently housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and the Solar Boat that is now housed beside the pyramids.

Fact sheet


Ministry of Culture, Egypt




2003 (Competition)


Phase 1 (Conservation Centre) Complete Pre-Tender


Giza, Egypt


Architects (Cairo)


Structural | Civil | Traffic

Arup | ACE (Cairo)

Building Services

Buro Happold | Shaker Engineering (Cairo)

Design Team Management

Davis Langdon


Davis Langdon

Facade Engineering


IT | Security | Fire | Acoustics

Buro Happold


West 8 | Sites (Cairo)

Specialist Lighting

Bartenbach LichtLabor


Bruce Mau Design

Exhibition Masterplanning



Cultural Innovations



heneghan peng architects
14–16 Lord Edward Street, Floor 2
Dublin D02 YC63, Ireland

Tel +353 (0)1 633 9000
Fax +353 1 633 9010



heneghan peng architects
Lehrter Strasse 57
Haus 1
10557 Berlin, Germany



Tel +49 30 20 89 88 750
Fax +49 30 20 89 88 759