On Monday, April 11, Daniel Libeskind unveils the design for The Kurdistan Museum at the
Bloomberg Businessweek Design conference in San Francisco. Libeskind will present the design for abuilding that will create the first major center in the Kurdistan Region for the history and culture of theKurdish people.In collaboration with the Kurdistan Regional Government (the KRG) and client representative RWF World,the team has embarked on a visionary project to share the story of the Kurdish people with the world andinspire an open dialogue for the future generations within Kurdistan.“The museum aims to convey the spirit of the Kurdish people, their rich culture and the future ofKurdistan,” said architect Daniel Libeskind.
“The design had to navigate between two extreme emotions:sadness and tragedy, through the weight of history, and of joy and hope, as the nation looks to the future.”Situated at the base of the ancient Citadel, in the center of Erbil, Iraq, the 150,000 square-foot museum willfeature exhibition spaces for both permanent and temporary exhibitions, a lecture theatre, state-of-the-artmultimedia educational resources, an extensive digital archive of Kurdish historical assets, as well ascommunity center and landscaped outdoor spaces for public use.The form of the museum is created by four interlocking geometric volumes that represent the Kurdishregions: Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq.
The volumes are intersected by a line that is broken into two angular
fragments, representing the past and future of Kurdistan. The two fragments create an emotive duality: aheavy and opaque mass, the Anfal Line, which symbolizes the genocide under Saddam Hussein; and theLiberty Line, a lattice structure filled with greenery that ascends towards the sky and culminates with aneternal flame – a powerful symbol in Kurdish culture.At the junction between the Anfal and Liberty Lines is an open-air courtyard conceived as a tranquil andmeditative space at the heart of the museum.
The courtyard references those found in the Citadel andthroughout the ancient, urban neighborhoods of Erbil. There is a water feature that extends from the
landscape through the museum, bringing to mind the rivers and fertile valleys of Kurdistan. The landscapeoffers performance spaces, café seating, and picnic grounds where people can gather.To realize this ambitious project the KRG asked the Emmy award-winning company RWF World to assemblea formidable international team:– Studio Libeskind (US) Architect– Haley Sharpe Design (UK) Exhibition Designer– Expedition (UK) Structural Engineer– Atelier Ten (US) Mechanical and Environmental Engineer– Jackson Coles (UK) Project Managers– Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (UK) Consultants for Landscape and Botany– RWF World UK/Iraq) Development, Management and Content Production– With Tim Renwick as Project Director (London Eye, London 2012 Olympic village)The Kurds in Iraq are currently engaged in fighting the Islamic State (ISIS), which has been covered widelyby the international media.
The construction of the museum will begin once the region is stabilized and thethreat posed by ISIS is minimized. The Kurdistan Regional Government’s financial resources have beendrained by their epic struggle, so to achieve this vision they are inviting outside financial support for theproject..