Museum design: Cheops eco-house

James Rippon James Rippon
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The Pyramid of Cheops (also known as the Great Pyramid of Giza) is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and  the only one to remain largely intact. This awe inspiring building is even more impressive when you consider that this monument was built over 4000 years ago. But, however immortal this pyramid may seem, this extremely robust structure is slowly crumbling. Many solutions have been proposed in order to help preserve this monument. Today we will showcase one of the more special proposals, a self-sufficient house, and 'museum of human behaviour', which has been designed by the famous Spanish architect Luis de Garrido, who also designed the home of football star Lionel Messi. Luis de Garrido proposes to build a high-tech construction that is perfectly integrated into nature, which will sit atop the pyramid and can be removed without a trace of ever being there.  The construction will be a fully functioning home, as well as a musuem for visitors. There is little to be displayed in the museum, only multimedia equipment and a continuous connection to the internet is needed. Cheops eco-house will have zero energy consumption and create no waste or emissions. The construction will also be  completely self sufficient in energy, water and food, with a small garden to feed the occupants. 

Ra, sun god of Egypt

The pyramid shaped construction, which is exactly 1/7th the size of the existing pyramid itself, is constructed of stainless steel horizontal slats, creating a stable micro-climate for its inhabitants. This construction can be set atop the pyramid and also be dismounted at any time, without causing any environmental impact. Another design feature is the garden that covers the entire east face across of the pyramid, ensuring basic food supply for those inside.

Technology

This museum is not just an exhibition space, but a small house that is entirely self-sufficient in energy, food, water, and climate control. The idea of a 'human behaviour museum' is to be a unique place for meditation and  to have minimal displays in order for those who visit to be able to 'meditate and visualise the future of mankind and human relationships'.

Such great heights

Here we can see in more detail how the museum and house may look. The design of the building, using horizontal steel slats, maximises sunlight during winter, and act as sunscreens during the summer months. The use of double panned glass, with a large internal air chamber, also helps to regulate the temperature inside. Here we can also see the elevator along the outside of the pyramid, which allows for easy access without the pyramid being harmed.

The museum

Here we see the living area which makes up part of the 'museum', whose contents were chosen by professor of psychology Richard Wiseman. Here you can relax with the view of both ancient Egyptian architecture and modern 21st century architecture, and meditate to 'discover what it may mean to be human'. Completely independent of the outside world thanks to the closed, self-sustaining system, this space poses a unique experience that provides rich insights for those who spend time here.

Shining example

Luis de Garrido's fascinating project combines the protection of an ancient monument with the addition of a unique ecological design and a groundbreaking new museum phenomenon. Through projects like this, we imagine that in the not too distant future such breakthroughs, particularly in ecologically oriented architecture and design, will be applied everywhere to give something more than displays at a museum. Experiences such as this may help us discover who we are, in a completely unique (and self sustained) way.

What is the most unique museum experience you have had? Leave us a comment and let us know!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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