The BA Hosts its Original Design Team at the “Revival of a Legend” Celebration
The BA Alexandria and Mediterranean Research Center (Alex Med) organized yesterday Tuesday, 10 October 2023, the "Bibliotheca Alexandrina: Revival of a Legend” celebration, where it hosted members of the original team of the Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta which designed the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, to tell the story of the design and construction of the new Library. The celebration was attended by Dr. Ahmed Zayed, Director of the BA, and H.E. Hilde Klemetsdal, Ambassador of Norway to Egypt, and presented by Dr. Marwa El-Wakeel, Head of the BA Academic Research Sector.
Dr. Zayed said that the opening of the Library took place on 16 October 2022, and now it is celebrating its 21st anniversary as it aspired to restore the spirit of openness to the city of Alexandria, which was the capital of culture and science in the ancient world and a symbol of the cosmopolitan city.
He also thanked the Egyptian engineers and workers who worked hard to implement the design on the ground, which he considers a dream that everyone is proud of.
He concluded his speech by thanking Dr. Ismail Serageldin, who was the BA Director at the time, as he followed this project and all the work that took place within the Library, as well as Dr. Moustafa El-Feki, who was the BA Director for 5 years, adding: "I look forward to continuing what they have accomplished and strive to work hard to preserve this heritage for the Library to remain a symbol of culture and civilization."
Additionally, Ms. Hilde Klemetsdal expressed her delight at participating in the celebration of the 21st anniversary of the revival of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a heritage that continues to this day, reflecting the history of Alexandria, which was the largest city in the ancient world.
The design team of the Library discussed the challenge of choosing the shape of the building, which should be reflecting the past, present and future. They also stated that they were inspired by the idea of the horizon and sunshine that disappears in the seawater, and revealed the first design images of the Library building.
They also explained that the design was inspired by the map of Alexandria and by books such as the novel Miramar by Naguib Mahfouz, which gave them an idea of Alexandria and its inhabitants. They also highlighted the participation of Egyptian engineers in the construction project.