Witnessing a lot of architectural modifications over the past two centuries, the Museo Egizio, historically the main civic space in Turin, had its public areas closed off to the rest of the city. Selected among competition entries by Kengo Kuma and Associates, Pininfarina Architecture, Carlo Ratti Associati, and Snøhetta, the OMA design recognized the importance of restoring the public aspect of the museum. Actually, OMA Project Architect Andreas Karavanas explains that they “have conceptualized the Piazza Egizia as a palimpsest that reveals the different layers of the museum’s history. This approach restores coherence to the architecture and lends the museum a lucid identity while ensuring that the institution’s new needs are fulfilled.”
Museo Egizio, with an open courtyard, is historically a main civic space in Turin. Our team believes that it is vital to restore the public nature of the museum and integrate it back with Turin’s network of public spaces. By reorganizing the current museum’s public areas, we have created the Piazza Egizia, which is a place for all kinds of activities shared between Museo Egizio and the city. — OMA Managing Partner – Architect David Gianotten.
Defining six distinctive urban rooms, each with its unique scale, function, and quality, the project connects the different entities through a central spine with a geometric ground floor pattern for visual continuity. The Piazza Egizia, the largest urban room, is designed as a central public space shared between Museo Egizio and the city. In fact, “openings have been introduced to the current building façade on Via Duse, inviting the public into the museum and Piazza Egizia for various daily leisure activities”. The double-level, multifunctional courtyard showcases “the museum’s original architecture and traces of interventions over time”.
At the ground level, the multiple historic openings of the courtyard, closed off since the museum’s 2010 renovation, have been restored, connecting this public space back to the city. The Egyptian Garden, the event and learning space, are located at level -1, where the Collegio dei Nobili’s original façade, also concealed since the 2010s, is uncovered. Finally, above the courtyard, the aluminum cladded steel structural grid transparent canopy doubles as a device for rainwater collection, air ventilation, and lighting provision.
- Project: Museo Egizio 2024
- Status: Competition
- Client: Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, in collaboration with Fondazione Museo delle Antichità Egizie di Torino (Museum of Egyptian Antiquities Foundation, Turin) and Fondazione per l’architettura / Torino (Architecture Foundation, Turin)
- Location: Turin, Italy
- Program: Preservation and repurposing
- Partner: David Gianotten
- Project Leader: Andreas Karavanas
- Team: Rui Pedro Couto Fernandes, Giovanni Nembrini
- Local Architect: Andrea Tabocchini Architecture (Andrea Tabocchini and Francesca Vittorini); T-Studio
- Historical Consultant: Professor Andrea Longhi Visualization: Alessandro Rossi, Jeudi Wang
- Conservation and Restoration: Studio Strati
- Structural Engineer: Manfroni Engineering Workshop
- MEP and Sustainability: Sequas
- Lighting: Studio De Camillis – Fibbi