Aksum Heritage Management
In 2005 Mallinson Architects were appointed to work on the World Bank’s Aksum Heritage Management Project with Hydea Ltd. and a team of specialists. The proposals included the restoration of the Aksum Stele Park, and the creation of a new museum. The works were completed in 2009, and also involved the creation of a film on Aksum for the new museum, as well as installing, conserving and displaying the exhibits.
The Museum was designed to have an active role within the local community, providing educational resources for schools, and a location for cultural activities such as poetry and musical recitals. The museum provides formal teaching spaces, and at the centre of the museum, an excavation of a tomb discovered while building the museum is now used to explain the process of archaeology. The old house of ‘Wolete Israel’, the last crowned princess of Ethiopia, has been restored as the museum offices and café, and in front of this a space is provided for poets and music. The contract requirement was that all works be made locally. Therefore the museum’s cases and models were designed for production and manufacturing in Ethiopia, and local painters contributed to the museum’s time line exhibition. The museum’s internal architecture was developed to reflect the Aksum style. All the museum’s lighting is LED, and the entire museum’s power load is less than 500w.