Architecture in Dialogue: The Aga Khan Award for Architecture


The Palestinian Museum’s gardens were designed by Lara Zureikat, a Jordanian landscape architect. They are a fine example of a rich and diverse flora, comprising a wide range of native and non-native plants. / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden
The Palestinian Museum’s gardens were designed by Lara Zureikat, a Jordanian landscape architect. They are a fine example of a rich and diverse flora, comprising a wide range of native and non-native plants. / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden

Palestinian Museum

Birzeit, Palestine

The Palestinian Museum crowns a terraced hill overlooking the Mediterranean and is the recipient of the LEED Gold certification because of its sustainable construction. The zigzagging forms of the Museum’s architecture and hillside gardens are inspired by the surrounding agricultural terraces, stressing the link with the land and Palestinian heritage.

Architect: heneghan peng architects, Dublin, Ireland
Client: Taawon‐Welfare Association, Ramallah, Palestine

Visitors enjoying the museum’s shaded terrace.        / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden
Visitors enjoying the museum’s shaded terrace. / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden

The stone on the western facade is cranked upwards exposing a linear curtain wall with charcoal metal fins, which protect the interior spaces from the glare of the setting sun.   / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden The stone on the western facade is cranked upwards exposing a linear curtain wall with charcoal metal fins, which protect the interior spaces from the glare of the setting sun. / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden

“If you’re building a museum, it should be something that is sustainable. It’s not just a huge gesture that afterwards you wonder how you’re going to operate.”

—Roisin Heneghan, Architect

Group  of schoolchildren waiting in the central entrance space, which contains a  reception, shop and a café.   / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden
Group of schoolchildren waiting in the central entrance space, which contains a reception, shop and a café. / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden

The central entrance space opens out into a stone paved terrace overlooking the gardens. / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden
The central entrance space opens out into a stone paved terrace overlooking the gardens. / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden

Lower level of the museum, comprising an education and research centre, as well as the primary art collection stores, photographic archive, workshops and facility management rooms. / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden Lower level of the museum, comprising an education and research centre, as well as the primary art collection stores, photographic archive, workshops and facility management rooms. / Photo © Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden

Ground floor plan. / Photo ©                  heneghan peng architects
Ground floor plan. / Photo © heneghan peng architects

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