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Grand designs above ancient Egypt

01.04.2018 | Egypt
Covering some of the world’s rarest artefacts, we hear more about Doka’s work at the Grand Egyptian Museum and the details behind its bespoke 3D-designed roof.


Located just two kilometres from the Giza pyramids, the Grand Egyptian Museum is part of a new master plan for the plateau that will soon be home to more than 50,000 artefacts, including the first exhibition of the full tomb collection of King Tutankhamun. Sympathetically designed to its environment, the building features a chamfered triangle plan, with the north and south walls lining up directly with the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Pyramid of Menkaure respectively. Designed by Dublin-based architects Heneghan Peng, the project commenced construction in March 2012 under main contractors OCI/BESIX, with engineering support from Arup and Buro Happold and is on target to be partially opened in 2018.

As with many heritage buildings around the world, the Grand Egyptian Museum has been designed to be a work of art in its own right, and as such some of its intricate features have required a highly complex engineering solution.

Nominated by the main contractor JV in 2013, Doka’s reputation for delivering complex designs
meant it was the ideal partner to design and supply the material for the museum’s 3D folding roof which consists of two areas; the conference centre and the museum, with each area being split into six further bands, covering a total area of 36,000 m2.

George Kyrillos, Deputy Project Manager commented,“We chose Doka for this project thanks to its high level of technical assistance and detailed studies of the structural solution. Doka provided a very professional service, which greatly assisted the progress of the overall project.”

Due to the unique design, Doka’s engineers had to calculate all the necessary shop drawings for each band, and for each building leading to a total of more than 12,000 hours of engineering before construction could commence. In addition to the design, the roof also required the right combination of material that was flexible to work with in all different areas, while being adaptable to any changes in design during the construction process.

In order to meet the flexibility required for the roof area as a whole, large area formwork Top 50, H20 and spindle struts were used. Pre-assembled panels were implemented for the folding lines and more than 10,350 m2 of decking was used.

Speaking on behalf of Doka Middle East and Africa, Project Engineer, Mohammed Samaha said, “We were successful in winning this contract because we submitted the best technical solution with all the necessary details about the assembly and disassembly. Our team has dealt with the client in a very professional way, from negotiation to delivering the detailed study of the solution.”

In order to recover time and to keep the project on target, Doka was later requested to supply an additional 50% of the original material, something that was only made possible thanks to the excellent organisation skills of Doka’s logistics team. Built at a cost of $795 m, the Grand Egyptian Museum is expected to be partially open by May 2018.

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