Pesh Tours

The Story behind the Pyramid Wall Design of the Grand Egyptian Museum.

May 31, 2021
Pesh Blogs

The main focus of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) façade is to express Egyptian civilization using all its elements. Egyptian raw materials are used in the cladding of this unique and innovative design, employing eternal symbols to characterise our ancient civilization.

The façade includes seven pyramids, a number that has held significant meaning throughout Egyptian history. The eastern façade of GEM is 46 metres high and more than 800 metres long and is divided into three parts, two of which contains three pyramids. The use of illumination to link the earth to the sky through light represents the fourth dimension.

A seventh transparent pyramid is located on the façade facing north toward the Giza Plateau. This pyramid represents the continuity of Egypt’s pioneering influence from antiquity to the modern day. Egypt’s historical role in the transmission of civilization through sciences, arts and literature to the world is symbolised as emerging from the south to influence and educate the north (western culture).

The façade was built by Egyptian workmen with locally sourced materials in acknowledgment that we are following in the steps of our ancestors in this great engineering and construction project. The façade was covered with Egyptian marble extracted from the Sinai quarries, which was used by the ancient Egyptians in statues and the architectural elements in temples. The main entrance façade presents a series of cartouches containing the kings of Egypt to welcome all visitors.

The previous design of the GEM façade was originally designed as a metal wall that would have stood independently 17 metres away from the museum body! It consisted of a metal triangular structure similar to billboards, with a maximum height of 46 metres and a minimum height of 12 meters, to be made of transparent marble only available from quarries in the region of Macedonia. It was decided that the concept was not in-keeping with the ancient Egyptian narrative and was subsequently replaced by a façade more in keeping with the GEM’s character. This project was completed in three months at a cost of 20 million dollars, whereas the original estimated cost of the initial plan had been expected to reach 250 million dollars! The GEM presents an elegant design that is well implemented, using locally sourced materials, built by Egyptians for the world.

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