Project Details

Museum Complex

Client:  Ministry of Works
Year Completed:  2006
Value:  US$ 15,900,000 
Consultant:  Yousif Daoud Al Sayegh & Associates

Museum Exhibition Fit-out

Client:  Ministry of Works
Year Completed:  2010
Value:  US$ 31,800,000 
JV Partner:  Beck Interiors, UK

Project Overview

Construction of Bahrain’s National Charter Monument, a state-of-the-art Museum Complex built to commemorate the adoption of the Bahrain Constitution. The Complex contains a Museum Building, annular in plan, with a glazed dome structure at its entrance and an open-air Amphitheatre in its centre which contains a water feature and a sundial tower. Surrounding the Museum is a covered Arcade with radial walls accessed by two levels of circular walkways. Opposite, there is a Parade Ground featuring an Eternal Flare under a triangular steel structure with copper cladding.

The Museum Building consists of a composite reinforced concrete and steel structure forming a ground floor (4,670m²) and mezzanine level (2,700m²). The external walls are inclined outwards at an angle of 75 degrees giving the building a truncated cone shape. The ground level has horizontal floors, while the mezzanine floor level is formed by a sloping ramp which starts at 0m at the ground floor reception and rises to 7.5m at its highest point on the mezzanine floor level. The building roof slab follows the same incline as the mezzanine floor and is covered in copper shingles (3,300m2).

The main entrance to the Museum Building is comprised of a tinted double-glazed dome structure with a curved staircase and a lift leading down to the Lobby which connects to the ground floor Reception area, the Amphitheatre, a VIP Majlis (800m²) and a VIP sitting area with media and pantry facilities. The Museum Exhibition space consists of a north and south wing connected at the highest point by a glass encapsulated bridge. Support facilities including a two level library, a seminar theatre with a seating capacity of 200 persons, an art gallery, an administration office, stores, and a cafeteria, are located on the ground floor. Plant rooms are also provided to house equipment for the MEP installations.

The Amphitheatre has tiered seating for 2,000 persons, a Grand Stand for VIPs, and a central circular stage which is surrounded by a water body named “The Upper Pond” and accessed by a precast concrete bridge. At the centre of the stage there is a conical shaped 60m sundial tower, constructed in structural steel with aluminium cladding, featuring a 5.5m diameter decorative sphere 45m above ground with a viewing platform accessed by a spiral staircase within the tower. A water channel 120m long connects the Upper Pond to the Lower Pond containing a fountain with a 12m high bronze sculpture.

All external walls of the Museum Building and the arcade walls are clad in Jordanian stone engraved with calligraphy listing the names of the Bahraini citizens on the electoral roll at the time the constitution was adopted. The walls surrounding the Amphitheatre also have the National Anthem in bold projected calligraphy and four circular murals depicting the names of the current Ruling Family.

The site is further developed with 17,000m2 of soft and hard landscaped areas, as well as two-tone paving laid in concentric circles to create a feature out of an existing oil well on the plot. A 9,800m2 visitors’ car park with 267 parking spaces plus a 1,200m2 service block building accommodating a transformer room, LV room, store, water tank room and chilled water pump room are provided. A TSE water tank serving the irrigation needs of the project and a chiller yard are also located on the premises.

The fit-out works of the Museum Building were successfully undertaken on a design and construct basis by the joint venture between GPZ and Beck Interiors. A complex feature is the 3-dimensional acoustic suspended ceiling (3,300m2) with decorative perforated Rigitone Board which was supplied and installed by GPZ. The museum and reception floors are covered in black granite and terra pink granite respectively. The inside face of the external slanted wall is coated with ScreenGoo paint to enhance the screening of the digital displays from various projectors, while the internal walls are coated with fair faced epoxy paint.

The impressive exhibits, which were fabricated in the UK, explore the history, culture and environment of Bahrain. As an interpretive centre, it includes the latest multi-media technologies and high-end interactive display systems to create a new international standard for the museum experience in Bahrain. The 57 specially created exhibits contain touchscreens, dials, cameras, capacitors and proximity light sensors.