Relive, Refresh, Relax and Re-engage at the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo

London design consultancy Tangerine set the vision for the world’s largest collection of ancient Egyptian treasures, opening in 2021.


“There is an abundance of cultural and historical artefacts shown for the first time. Our job is to craft an experience like no other!” Says designer Geraint Edwards, after a recent trip to Egypt’s famous historic sites. London-based international design consultancy Tangerine has been charged by Hassan Allam, the provider and operator of services and facilities at the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), to define the visitor experience of one of the world’s most anticipated museum, the Grand Egyptian Museum, which will house the treasures and artefacts of one of history’s oldest and most revered civilisations.

For over one hundred years, King Tutankhamun has captured the imagination of the world. Billed as the ‘Poster Boy of Ancient Egypt’, King Tut’s mask has become a brand icon for the country. 2022 marks the centenary of the discovery of the Tomb of King Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings, and this year King Tut and the bulk of his treasures are making their way to the site of the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, for their final resting place, in time for the museum’s opening.

Part of the fanfare will be a new, curated experience for visitors to the site of GEM, a colossal edifice designed and devoted to Egypt’s antiquities. It is the largest museum in the world dedicated to a single civilisation. Its footprint extends beyond the architectural façade created by Heneghan Peng Architects, to a site offering a plethora of shops, restaurants, cinema, thematic gardens, family entertainment centres, co-working facilities, and conference and education centre. The area will showcase selective Egyptian products and brands and offering a truly immersive cultural experience for visitors.

Geraint Edwards, tangerine’s Head of Service Design, says “Our ambition is to create an air of wonder in appreciation of the vast number of incredible artefacts, many of which will be brought together and shown to the public for the first time. And to build anticipation and intrigue that will inform locals about the GEM experience on their doorstep, redefining what a museum means as a destination for Egyptians and tourists alike.”

Ancient Egypt is on the syllabus of schools the world over, there probably isn’t a school-aged child who hasn’t heard of King Tut. And that’s pure gold for Egypt. The newly built Sphinx International Airport, a mere 7 miles away, will offer easy access to both the nation’s treasures, and the world-famous pyramids, now housed on the same footprint at Giza. For the first time ever, one museum will exhibit over 5,500 pieces of King Tut’s treasures under one roof in the 7,000-metre gallery created in his name.

Hassan Allam has been awarded the contract to provide and operate services and facilities at GEM. Hossam Allam, a member of the Board of Hassan Allam Holding, said: “The opening of the Grand Egyptian Museum is one of the most anticipated cultural events globally. The Egyptian government’s decision to invite private sector participation in such a major project to provide the services and facilities underscores its willingness to test new ways of inviting investment into the tourism sector. We are delighted to be working with tangerine to define the customer experience for visitors to GEM.”

For Tangerine the vision is simple. GEM will attract visitors from all corners of the globe, as well as local visitors, for whom a walk around the gardens and outdoor eating will live up the Revival vision set by tangerine to encompass the key user modes of Relive, Refresh, Relax and Re-engage.

As Edwards’ reflects, “There is a real opportunity to craft a holistic experience that will inspire local and international visitors alike and make them eager to return to find out what is happening next.” Simply put, Ancient Egypt is ready to burst onto the traveller’s radar, once again, 100 years since Howard Carter’s historic discovery!

More about Tangerine

International design consultancy Tangerine is most famous for its ground breaking work in the airline industry, with the world’s first lie-flat bed in business class for British Airways, and more recently cabin interiors for some of the world’s largest airlines, including Gulf Air in Bahrain.

Not confined to the skies, tangerine’s designers have worked with some of the largest multi-nationals in all four corners of the globe, collecting a host of prestigious awards and accolades. For energy company CEPSA, who are owned by Mubadala Investment Company based in the U.A.E, tangerine’s design of a new flagship petrol station in Spain received no fewer than three international lighting awards, for the innovative design of the forecourt canopy.

“What excites me most about the GEM project is the sheer scope of the challenge that we as designers had to overcome to deliver a visionary experience for visitors to the GEM site”, reflects Martin Darbyshire, CEO at Tangerine. “The hotly anticipated opening has fuelled our desire to create a world-class experience that will draw locals and international visitors alike. It has been a sheer and total pleasure to work with the teams in Egypt and to learn about their present-day culture and how it meshes with their unique and ancient civilisation.”

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