The contract signifies a major milestone in the progress of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, set to open in the Saadiyat Cultural District in 2015, that has already launched a robust programme marking major achievements during the various upcoming stages of development.
Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism ‘&’ Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and TDIC, stated: “The awarding of this contract confirms Abu Dhabi’s commitment in developing iconic museums in the Saadiyat Cultural District, in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and the direction of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, 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.” 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 this world-class building transforms into an island of its own.
Mubarak Hamad Al Muhairi, General Manager of TCA Abu Dhabi and Managing Director of TDIC, stated: “The construction phase of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is an important milestone in the museum’s life as it celebrates the significant work that has been achieved in the development of the cultural programme of the Louvre Abu Dhabi and its art collection. This new landmark project will earn international appreciation for its distinctive design and collection with artworks of historical and sociological significance.” With a built up area of 64,000 square metres, 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 square metres of art galleries. The 6,000-square-metre 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 civilisations. The Temporary Gallery will be a dedicated space of 2,000 square meters presenting temporary exhibitions of international standards.
Hasan Ismaik, Managing Director of Arabtec, stated: “We are extremely proud to have been awarded such a prestigious project and to be contributing to bringing this landmark museum to life with our joint venture partners Constructora San Jose SA and Oger Abu Dhabi LLC.. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is undoubtedly the most anticipated cultural development in the region, and truly reflects the Emirate’s ambition to strengthen its position on the global map as a cultural epicentre and leisure lifestyle destination. We would like to thank TDIC for providing Arabtec the opportunity to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s vision.” The Louvre Abu Dhabi has so far achieved major developmental milestones with the finishing of the building’s detailed design and the completion of the infrastructure, which encompassed marine, excavation, piling and substructure works. A temporary platform in the sea, where the entire building will be constructed on, was built in 2009 to allow all works to take place in a dry environment. Upon completion of the building, including the marine works, the 40-metre high concrete walls currently built in the sand will be removed to allow seawater to flow in gradually. More than 4,000 steel and reinforced concrete piles – a total volume of 21,000 cubic metres of concrete – were driven into the ground to serve as a base for the Louvre Abu Dhabi building.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi will showcase the interrelationships among artistic achievements from different cultures around the world – from the most immemorial to the very latest, across borders of technique and geography. Louvre Abu Dhabi is developing its own permanent collection, which will be enriched by loans from 12 French museums including Musee du Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Musee du Quai Branly, and Centre Pompidou. Louvre Abu Dhabi is being developed with the expertise of the Agence France-Museums and in partnership with the Musee du Louvre, renowned for its museological excellence since its foundation in 1793.
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. All this adds to the appeal of Saadiyat which exudes an exclusive lifestyle through the island’s high-end residential, leisure, cultural and tourism facilities.