Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has awarded the construction contract for the Louvre Abu Dhabi to a joint venture led by Dubai-based Arabtec.
The Dh 2.4 billion ($653 million) contract signifies a major milestone in the development of Louvre Abu Dhabi, a branch of France's Louvre museum. The museum is scheduled to be completed in 2015. The joint venture also includes Constructora San Jose SA and Oger Abu Dhabi.
Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and TDIC, said the awarding of this contract confirms Abu Dhabi’s commitment in developing iconic museums in the Saadiyat Cultural District, aimed at transforming the emirate into a hub of world cultural exchange.
“When Louvre Abu Dhabi opens its doors, it will mark significant progress in cross-cultural dialogue through its universal themes and diverse exhibits,” he said.
Arabtec and its partners will begin construction work immediately, with the museum’s concrete frame to be completed by the first quarter of 2014. Work on the geometric lace dome will be completed by the end of 2014 and result in an enchanting ‘rain of light’. The final stage includes marine works and removal of temporary land platforms which will be completed in 2015 when the world-class building transforms into an island of its own, a statement said.
With a built up area of 64,000 sq m, Louvre Abu Dhabi is conceived as a complex of pavilions, plazas, alleyways and canals, evoking the image of a city floating on the sea. Hovering over the complex will be a form inspired by traditional Arabic architecture: a vast, shallow dome – some 180 metres in diameter – perforated with interlaced patterns so that a magical, diffused light will filter through.
Designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will encompass 9,200 sq m of art galleries. The 6,000 sq m Permanent Gallery will house the museum’s permanent collection taking the visitor through a universal journey from the most ancient to contemporary through art works from different civilizations. The Temporary Gallery will be a dedicated space of 2,000 sq m presenting temporary exhibitions of international standards.
The overall structure incorporates passive design techniques and environmental principles. These utilize the natural form of buildings and inherent properties of materials to improve outside conditions, such as solar shading effect of the dome’s roof and self-shading of buildings. The dome was intelligently designed where the roof primarily acts as a shading canopy to protect the outside plaza and building below from the radiant heat of the sun, providing local comfort and reducing building energy consumption. This allows visitors to walk in comfort between the different exhibition spaces.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be one of the premier cultural institutions located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District that are unprecedented in scale and scope. These feature Zayed National Museum, which will open in 2016, and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which opens in 2017 – both also designed by world-renowned Pritzker-prize winning architects.