The Palestinian Museum

Birzeit, Palestine / Heneghan Peng Architects


The Palestinian Museum is a flagship project of Taawon-Welfare Association; a humanitarian organization working to support some of the most marginalized Palestinian families and communities in the West Bank and Gaza, and in the refugee camps and gatherings of Lebanon.

It is the realization of their 20 year old dream; to construct a museum in Palestine, with a global reach. Intended to be the authoritative source of all things Palestinian, it is located 25km north of Jerusalem on a hilltop site adjacent to Birzeit University. It is the first Phase of a two-phase master plan for a museum ‘hub’. Phase I comprises a 3,500sm building set among 40,000sm landscaped gardens. 

The Museum stretches out long and low, and is clad entirely in Palestinian limestone. It watches westward across rolling hills. Generally single storey, it is entered at its midpoint.

The administrative spaces are planned to the north, with the public galleries and education/ research centre (lower ground floor) to the south. The entrance space hosts a reception, shop and a cafe. The building takes advantage of a pre-existing site hollow to form a lower ground floor at its southern end. This lower level hosts an education/ research centre to the west, flowing out to a cut stone amphitheatre. The collection stores, photographic archive, workshops and facility management rooms are located on this level also, tucked into the hillside to the east.

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