Egypt’s Culture Ministry has issued tender documents for the estimated $480m contract to build the 108,000-square-metre Grand Egyptian Museum on the outskirts of Cairo.

The four prequalified groups have until 8 March to submit bids for the main construction package.

The prequalifiers are:

  • Bouygues (France)
  • Besix (Belgium)/Orascom Construction Industries (local)
  • Acciona (Spain)/Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) (Athens-based)
  • Rizzani De Eccher (Italy)/Arab Contractors (local)

The scope of the project includes the construction of exhibition galleries, a cultural and educational centre, a conference centre, retail outlets, restaurants and landscaping.

A detailed design of the three-storey building has been completed. It includes a free-standing translucent stone wall, which will be erected in front of the entrance to the museum.

The 40 by 600-metre Sierpinski Translucent Stone Wall is designed to provide a second skin to the building by casting an alabaster light across its facade.

The museum will be located in Giza, located 20 kilometres southwest of central Cairo. The site of the new museum is located 2 kilometres west of the pyramids at the Giza plateau.

Egypt’s Culture ministry is expecting to begin a phased handover of the project starting in 2012 (MEED 14:5:10).

US-based Industrial Construction & Engineering and Germany’s Siemens carried out the first two phases of the project, which included site preparation and enabling works, as well as building a power plant and secondary facilities on-site.

European consultants completed the museum’s design and engineering team. Ireland’s Heneghan Peng Architects designed the architecture, while UK-based engineers Arup and Buro Happold are overseeing structural engineering.

A joint venture of US-based Hill International and the local Ehaf Consulting Engineers are managing the project.

In response to looting during the anti-government demonstrations, which began on 25 January, Egypt’s military has dispatched armoured personnel carriers and troops to the existing Egyptian museum in Cairo. Many of the artefacts displayed in the existing museum will be transfered to the new Grand Museum when the project is completed.