Daniel Libeskind plans first Kurdish museum – once the fighting dies down

New York architect Daniel Libeskind has unveiled plans for a Kurdistan Museum, to be located in the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan.

Studio Libeskind is working with the Kurdistan Regional Government and client representative RWF World on the project.

The 150,000 square foot building aims to tell the story of Kurdistan and will be the first major arts centre in the region. It will be built at the base of the Citadel, a world heritage site in the city of Erbil.

The museum will contain permanent and temporary galleries, a lecture theatre, a multimedia educational centre and it will have a courtyard at the centre serving as a place for meditation.

Libeskind is known for working symbolic meanings into his designs. This structure will be made up of four "interlocking volumes" representing the four Kurdish regions in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

The volumes are separated by a line broken in two, symbolising the past and future of Kurdistan.

Studio Libeskind said: "The two fragments create an emotive duality: a heavy and opaque mass, ‘the Anfal Line’, which symbolises the genocide under Saddam Hussein, and ‘the Liberty Line’, a lattice structure filled with greenery that ascends towards the sky and culminates with an eternal flame, a powerful symbol in Kurdish culture."

The project’s international team also includes: Expedition Engineering as structural engineer, Atelier Ten as M&E engineer and Jackson Coles as project manager. Tim Renwick will be the project director.

Work on the project will begin once the region’s political situation has stabilised. The Kurdistan government is inviting outside financial support for the project.

Images via Hayes Davidson

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