daniel libeskind plans 'ngaren', a museum of humankind in kenya

daniel libeskind plans 'ngaren', a museum of humankind in kenya

daniel libeskind is developing plans for a new museum in kenya dedicated to the story of humans. the project was commissioned by conservationist dr. richard leakey, whose fossil discoveries have helped reveal how humankind has evolved. the museum — titled ‘ngaren’ — will be the first center of its kind to present research, discovery, and exploration of more than two million years of human history and the origins of our universe from evolution, biodiversity, and overpopulation, to war, disease, and climate change.

daniel libeskind plans 'ngaren', a museum of humankind in kenya
all images courtesy of studio libeskind



‘ngaren is not just another museum, but a call to action,’ says dr. richard leakey, who describes the project as the culmination of his life’s work. ‘as we peer back through the fossil record, through layer upon layer of long extinct species, many of which thrived far longer that the human species is ever likely to do, we are reminded of our mortality as a species.’

daniel libeskind plans 'ngaren', a museum of humankind in kenya
the design is inspired by the forms of ancient hand axes



dr. leakey commissioned studio libeskind to create ‘an iconic design that reflects the mission and values of the museum’. sited on the edge of a cliff overlooking kenya’s rift valley — the place where leakey first discovered the most complete skeleton of early man, turkana boy. the design is inspired by the forms of ancient hand axes that were the first tools of early man marking the beginnings of human ingenuity. the monolithic volumes rise like vertical stalactite set against the dramatic landscape of greater nairobi in loodariak. internally, ngaren will unravel the mysteries of our beginnings through a series of interactive exhibition spaces.

daniel libeskind plans 'ngaren', a museum of humankind in kenya
the museum is scheduled to open in 2024



‘the museum will be a place for discovery, wonder, and contemplation,’ libeskind explains. ‘through the architecture and exhibitions, ngaren will anchor all walks of life to africa: the epicenter of human existence. I created a series of dramatic spaces within the museum that are architecturally dynamic and provocative, creating a unique context for the museum’s exhibitions that does not pacify artifacts, but enhances and enlivens them.’ the museum is scheduled to open in 2024.



project info:


architect: studio libeskind
name: ngaren: the museum of humankind
location: loodariak, kenya
status: completion scheduled for 2024

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