Cladding of Louvre Abu Dhabi dome on target for June

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Image via Abu Dhabi Tourism

The Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), developer of the Saadiyat Cultural District, said that 30 per cent of the cladding has been installed, with full installation expected by June of this year. This update comes after a tour conducted by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel to oversee the latest developments on site and who was received by Ali Majed Al Mansoori, chairman of TDIC.

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Image © Jean Nouvel

The dome cladding, which is made up of eight layers, is one of the most significant stages of the museum’s construction, giving Louvre Abu Dhabi its final shape and look as well as the museum’s interior ‘rain of light’ effect. The design of the cladding of the dome is inspired by the interlaced palm leaves traditionally used as roofing material in the emirates.

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Image © Jean Nouvel

The roof’s pattern is the result of a geometric design, repeated at various sizes and angles in eight layers, giving the dome a delicate form that leads to a ‘rain of light’ effect. The cladding layers are made from 7,850 star-shaped aluminium and stainless steel elements, the largest of which measures 13 metres in diameter and weighs 1.3 tonnes. These star-shaped elements or stars as they are referred to, make up eight layers of cladding weighing a total of 2,000 tonnes.

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Image © Jean Nouvel

Al Mansoori said: “Work is progressing on the Louvre Abu Dhabi and we are very happy to be working closely with Jean Nouvel to ensure that this critical stage of building the museum progresses smoothly. “The installation of the external cladding of the dome is one of the most significant processes, given that the dome is the museum’s iconic feature and one that will result in Jean Nouvel’s ‘rain of light’,” he said.

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Image © Buro Happold

“The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a project founded on a major symbol of Arab architecture: the dome. But here, with its evident shift from tradition, the dome is a modern proposal,” said Nouvel, the architect of the museum. “I wanted this project to be based on a complex, yet visible geometry, and place it in relation to light. Thus, it embodies the mashrabiya theme that is often found in the vertical position, which in this circumstance takes on another dimension as it is used to perforate a dome,” he said of the dome concept.

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Image © Luis Pérez Contreras

The 7,000-tonne-dome, which was constructed over the span of 10 months, was originally built on top of 120 temporary towers as a way to support its weight during the construction process. It was recently lifted atop its final position supported by only four concrete piers in a first-of-its-kind technique in the world of construction for a permanent structure of this scale and size.

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Image via Prospect

All of the museum’s structures have been completed, with work on the internal finishing progressing. As of early March, more than 24,000,000 man hours have been completed on the project. Once completed, Louvre Abu Dhabi will encompass 9,200 square metres of art galleries. The 6,681-square-metre Permanent Galleries will house the museum’s permanent collection, taking the visitor from the most ancient to contemporary art works.

Louvre Abu Dhabi
Image © Silvia Razgova / The National

The Temporary Gallery will be a dedicated space of 2,364 square metres, presenting temporary exhibitions of international standards. The gallery spaces will also include a children’s museum that caters to school-age children. Louvre Abu Dhabi will be the first universal museum in the Arab world. The Saadiyat Cultural District will also feature Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Source by Khaleej Times.


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