Painting a picture of pure elegance, ‘The Story of Creation Museum’ by Lina Ghotmeh bespoke such beauty that transports one to a different dimension, enabling them to embark upon the ethereal experience they were about to set afoot. The structure heavily plays on the concept of celestial bodies and mimics the effects of the same. The grandness of the entrance and that of the central spiral is symbolic of the galaxy in terms of its physical appearance thereby reinforcing the concept and making it come alive.
Planning of the Museum
Upon entering the structure, one is greeted by a giant spiral ramp that connects all the different levels within. A garden full of trees and shrubs of varying shapes and sizes runs all along the length of this ramp forming the heart of the structure. All of the different activities are placed along the periphery of the ramp which gradually reduces in diameter as one makes their way to the base of the structure.
The lower level houses the prayer room, a multipurpose hall, commercial galleries and services such as toilets and staircases. Spaces dedicated to the employees and the staff managing the museum are placed in between the service areas along one of the four walls responsible for supporting the main structure.
Design of the Museum
The delicate porosity of the canopy that forms the roof of the structure is what fills the spaces that lay beneath it with natural light during the day as well as the night. The play of light and shadow achieved by the ingenious capabilities of Lina Ghotmeh creates an atmosphere of magic realism that is sure to leave one spellbound whether it is enveloped in the warm embraces of sun rays or enchanted by the view of twinkling lights suspended from the ceiling.
The elemental nature of the museum is what makes up the entirety of its being while deriving its meaning very literally from its name. As is intended to convey the story of the creation of this world, Lina Ghotmeh has done so by depicting the most basic elements of nature such as the sun, moon, water and earth encompassed by all of its flora and fauna, tracing it right back to the times when these elements birthed life unto the planet; and what followed, as a result, is what has made this world what it is today.
Therefore, the museum narrates the entire timeline of what was and what has become, by the use of these elements in nature and our presence a part of the same narration as we complete that very narrative as we stand proof of the power that the very elements held in them.
The depiction of the concept is both symbolic in certain situations and realistic in some others—for example, the moon has been depicted in a particular fashion by the use of its crescent shape, stacked along the length of the spiral ramp leading downstairs as if it were floating amidst the air just like it appears naturally in the sky.
The outside of the structure, however, is made up of a translucent material that varies in shape like the many phases of the moon, as it appears across the sky over the course of its periodic lunar cycle. Thus, we see how differently the concept has been treated and interpreted so as to bring the idea to fruition.
Lina’s Design Philosophy and its materialization with respect to the Museum
Lina Ghotmeh’s approach to design is best described as a humanist approach—one that is centered around and tailored specifically to create meaningful experiences that engage a person as they make their way around a structure/space. We can see abundant examples of this design philosophy in—‘The Story of Creation Museum’—right from the overall experience one gathers while moving throughout it to even just from looking at it, in astonishment of how the structure unfolds before the eyes of the beholder. Simply drawing one into the very core of the system wherein the essence of the concept is most concentrated.
The building fully embodies the design principles and ideologies of the architect herself and stands tall amidst the olden architecture it is surrounded by, as a symphony of artistic excellence and narrative brilliance. It bears resemblance to a trapezoid if one had to compare it to a shape of any sort with a very interesting central curvature to the roof that bends along both planes as if opening up to more dimensions than one.
It evokes a feeling of divinity and spirituality in the way that it is constructed and laid out focusing all the energies towards the center of the structure, as does a person for their own selves throughout the pursuit of the many religious practices and acts of devotion in order to find the light within—thus bringing to life a highly conceptualized design philosophy, not only in terms of the physical representation but also the intangible nature of it.