Living Archaeology

The archaeological character of Saint George Monastery of Deir al Balah, Gaza led to the approach of considering the building as whole as a time capsule, which needs to be delivered to the future generations who can also contribute to the making of the Saint George Monastery. The restoration plan treated the building as an archaeological artefact that needs special attention, giving more weight to the knowledge contained within the artefact (the site) than the aesthetic considerations. We were interested most in protecting every element as integral part of this time capsule to tell a segment of the whole story. The restoration of the monastery/mosque into an art centre and a library converted a rubbish dump into a space replete with life, expression and knowledge production in one of the most congested and devastated spaces on earth.