The Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is an archaeological destination like no other. In planning since 2002 and part of a 50-hectare masterplan for the Giza pyramid plateau, the museum replaces the over-crowded 19th century-built Egyptian Museum and will accommodate more than 100,000 antiquities, including the Statue of Ramses II and full King Tutankhamun collection. GEM was completed by BESIX and joint venture partner Orascom in 2018 after six years of construction, with the public opening scheduled for 2021.
High ceiling, higher than most ceilings around the world
Total construction hours
Workers during construction
Lost Time injuries
Visitors expected annually, up from 2.5M
Presenting 7000 years of history
Engineering a modern marvel
The massive folded cover slab roof is an articulated structure with 50,000 individual cascading triangular panels – not one identical square metre. The roof dimensions, complexity and slopes represented a significant challenge for a global team of 70 engineers. Numerous BIM models (Building Information Modelling) were used to calculate and illustrate the most precise structural relationships, ensuring the perfect alignment of the underside of the roof and its suspended ceilings.
Expert concrete solutions
Forming 14,000+ cubic metres of concrete into shape required complex formwork supported by reinforced beams and slabs structures. The concrete itself was the subject of specific research. A French cement and aggregates company spent months testing different mixtures of white concrete to achieve the best compromise between functionality and a surface quality that would withstand the significant stress level.
Ramses II enters early
To accommodate the 80-tonne, 13-metre statue of Ramses II, BESIX worked with partners and the Ministry of Antiquities on a pre-construction move-in date. The giant statue is 3,200 years old and the move-in day was celebrated nationally and documented by National Geographic (video shown below).
Designed for generations to come
The 21st century museum design was chosen from 1,500 submissions in a worldwide architectural competition. With stunning views to the Giza pyramids two kilometres away, the GEM comprises 133,000 square metres of galleries, central atrium, conference areas, retail, restaurants, children’s museum, 3D cinema, special needs cultural centre, along with virtual reality technology and unique storytelling features.