Studio Libeskind just unveiled their design for The Kurdistan Museum in Erbil, Iraq. The new building will be made up of four interlocking volumes that represent the regions of Kurdistan - Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The construction of the building is expected to start once the region is stabilized and the threat posed by the Islamic State (ISIS) is minimized. Since resources have been drained in the struggle against ISIS and other political forces, the organizers are currently looking for outside financial support for the project.
The new 150,000-square-foot museum will be located at the base of an ancient Citadel in the center of Erbil. It will include both permanent and temporary exhibitions, a lecture theater, a multimedia educational resources, a digital archive of Kurdish history, as well as community center and landscaped outdoor spaces.
Four interlocking volumes, representing the Kurdish regions, intersect and break up the structure into two angular fragments representing the past and the future of Kurdistan. By juxtaposing opaque, heavy volumes with a lattice structure filled with greenery, the architects accentuated the dichotomy between the region’s tempestuous past and its rich cultural heritage.
An open-air courtyard located at the junction between the two contrasting parts is conceived as a tranquil, meditative space referencing ancient urban neighborhoods of Erbil. A water feature running through the museum is reminiscent of the rivers and valleys of Kurdistan.
Rendering by Hayes Davidson