heneghan peng architects

Palestinian Museum | Bir Zeit

Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine

The terraced landscape of Palestine has embedded within it its history. The approach to the Palestinian Museum is to draw on this history of the terraced landscape, embedding the museum into its immediate site and drawing from this site to tell a larger story of a diverse culture.

The Palestinian Museum is a flagship project of Taawon-Welfare Association; a humanitarian organization working to support communities in the West Bank and Gaza, and in the refugee camps and gatherings of Lebanon. It is located 25km north of Jerusalem on a hilltop site adjacent to Birzeit University and is the first Phase of a two-phase master plan for a museum ‘hub’. Phase I comprises a 3,500sm building set among 40,000sm landscaped gardens.

The purpose of Phase I is to establish global connections through exhibition, participation, out-reach, education and research. It is divided roughly into three equal parts; gallery, education/ research centre and administration.

The site is formed through a series of cascading terraces, created by field stone walls which trace the previous agricultural terraces of the area.

The theme of the landscape; from the cultural to the native, unfolds across the terraces with the more domesticated terraces close to the building and changing as one moves down to the west. Groves of olives, pomegranate, fig, apricot, almond, carob and walnut are already yielding fruit and nuts, below them a thick, aromatic carpet of wheat, chickpea, mint, za’atar, sage, chamomile, jasmine and lavender bloom. The plants are both indigenous to Palestine or have become synonymous with Palestine as results of its position along ancient trading routes.

Fact sheet


Taawon-Welfare Association

Project Managers:

Projacs International




3,500 SM


Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine


Landscape Architect:

Lara Zureikat

Integrated Engineering & Fire| Concept:


Concept Lighting:

Bartenbach Lichlabor

Concept Façade:


QS (Concept and Schematic):

Davis Langdon/AECOM

Local Partner (Structures, Civil, MEP, Cost):

Arabtech Jardaneh



heneghan peng architects
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