Besix-Orascom JV nears completion of Egyptian mega-museum

The museum is due to open next month
The museum is due to open next month

Located on the Giza Plateau near the world-famous pyramids of Giza, the Grand Egyptian Museum will be the world’s largest archaeological museum when it opens next month.

Enabling works for the project, which was designed by Irish architect Heneghan Peng and engineered by Arup and Buro Happold, began as early as 2008. In January 2012 the Besix-Orasom JV was awarded the US$810m (£721m) phase three contract.

With a total floor area of 490,000 square metres the museum is one of the largest buildings erected in Egypt since the pyramids themselves. The project has been completed in phases and some galleries have already been opened.

The building features ceilings as high as 32 metres and cantilevers of up to 26 metres. Steel, marble and white concrete are featured extensively in the architecture.

The museum will house thousands of objects documenting the history of the ancient Egyptian civilisation, including around 5,300 objects from the tomb of Tutankhamun that will be on display for the first time since their discovery in 1922.

The project was scheduled for completion in 2021 but was delayed by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and will now open in November 2022.

The Besix-Orascom JV has notched up a total of 115 million man-hours since the start of the project. Of these, the last 20 million man-hours were carried out without any severe incident.

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