The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) has appointed key architects - Lina Ghotmeh and Asif Khan - for two prominent museums in the historical city of AlUla.
These museums are part of a comprehensive plan to revitalise AlUla's cultural landscape, reflecting its rich heritage spanning over 7,000 years, it stated.
Ghotmeh will be responsible for designing the contemporary art museum, while Khan will lead the design of the museum of the Incense Road.
The selection process for these visionary architects involved an international competition, with the jury consisting of esteemed professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape design, and museology, it stated.
Dr. Khaled Azzam, the architect of AlUla's Journey Through Time Masterplan, chaired the jury, ensuring a thorough evaluation of the proposals.
"We are excited to announce the appointed architects for these two significant museums—the first of 15 cultural assets planned under AlUla's Journey Through Time Masterplan," stated Dr Azzam.
"AlUla is a place of extraordinary historical significance, where human civilization has thrived for thousands of years. These museums will contribute to the preservation of our cultural heritage and establish a new cultural legacy for future generations," he noted.
Ghotmeh, renowned for her award-winning projects and her current role in designing the 2023 Serpentine Pavilion, will create a contemporary art museum that seamlessly integrates with the natural environment of AlUla.
Her design will take visitors on a captivating journey from the expansive desert to the vibrant cultural oasis of AlUla. The museum's garden pavilions will harmoniously blend art and nature, offering immersive experiences and a profound connection to the land's heritage.
Expressing her enthusiasm, Ghotmeh said: "AlUla resonated with me deeply, as did the local community members I met. The design envisions the museum as a public space, transcending traditional architectural boundaries. It will be located in AlJadidah village and will feature galleries and sensory learning spaces."
"With the mountains as its backdrop and sand dunes reaching out to greet the museum's edges, stepped terraces of gardens will establish a new relationship between the village and the oasis," she noted.
Asif Khan, recognized for his radical approach to architecture and his ongoing work on the renewal of the Barbican Centre and the new London Museum, will lead the design of the museum of the Incense Road.
This groundbreaking institution will be the world's first museum dedicated to the ancient trade routes, showcasing AlUla's pivotal role as a cultural hub at the intersection of civilizations.
The museum will shed light on the global histories of exchange, ideas, and culture facilitated by the Incense Road, featuring ongoing excavations and carefully curated collections.
"I am excited about how the museum of the Incense Road can be brought into the collective memory of the world and become a transformative asset for the local community," said Khan.
"This museum will be an extension of the urban fabric, harmonizing with the oasis edge and overlooking the stunning vista where Dadan and Hegra, once thriving cities along the Incense Road, are located. By collaborating with subject experts and the local community, we aim to create an immersive and engaging experience that celebrates AlUla's cultural heritage."
Both museums will play a pivotal role in showcasing AlUla's rich cultural offerings and will be developed with a strong commitment to preserving and interpreting the region's cultural legacy, he added.-TradeArabia News Service