Erbil Museum

with Studio Libeskind

A new museum in the ancient city of Erbil for the Kurdish people. The overall vision for the museum design is both a reflection into the past history of Kurds, a forward looking and positive approach towards the future, and a strong presence in the contemporary life of Kurdish culture.

The aim is to provide a sustainable, robust and easy to maintain building that will be an exemplar facility for Erbil and the surrounding region. The team, lead by Studio Daniel Libeskind, have committed to responsible and low energy design strategies and principles to reduce energy consumption and sustainability credentials of the project. By improving the efficiency of cooling and heating systems and lighting and equipment, the need for energy in operation during the lifetime of the building will be minimised.

The regional climatic data indicates a large temperature differential throughout the year an ambient temperature of 50°C in summer and 0°C in winter is not uncommon. The key temperature difference for the cooling and energy strategy is the diurnal (variation between day and night) temperature which enables a passive energy, labyrinth, approach to be adopted. In conjunction with the labyrinth solution the aquifer below the site gives an abundant source of energy that will assist with the heating and cooling of the building.

The museum has been designed to be recognised world-wide as a low-energy building, meeting low building fabric parameters and adopting energy strategies that utilise the climate to deliver a building 60% more energy efficient than a comparable baseline.