Work on Louvre Museum will finally begin

Museum described as a unique, 21st century structure carrying a double culture, director says

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: After several postponements and hurdles in the Louvre Museum project, the work will finally begin on the Museum after Arabtec was announced as the contractor executing the construction of the Dh2.4 billion project on Tuesday.

The design of the Louvre Museum structure will embrace traditional Arabic art as an Arabic souq-themed museum city is protected by a 7,000 tonne dome with a diameter of 180 metres, laced with layers of steel to create a so-called ‘rain of light’ shedding over the museum and its visitors.

The dome also rotates up to 30 degrees to simulate different seasons and times of day creating variations of light and shadow.

“The Louvre Abu Dhabi project is singular and will remain so. It is not intended to duplicate the Louvre, but to transmit what it is...” said Henri Loyrette, Director, Louvre. “The Louvre Abu Dhabi will not be the Louvre in Abu Dhabi: it will be a new museum carrying a double culture, and a double tradition,” he added.

Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel designing the museum described it as a “21st-century architectural structure” adding that the buildings and spaces are neither entirely inside nor outside. “Their ambition is to open up visitors to the artistic emotions that the collections are about to give them,” Nouvel said.

The 9,200 square metres of art gallery-space includes permanent galleries, a temporary exhibitions gallery which will dedicate over 2,300 square metres to temporary art exhibitions and a children’s museum which will expose children and families to original art works for them to engage with and learn from.

Finally, exhaust air from within the museum will be reusd and supplied to other open areas after energy recovery. Moreover, planting and vegetation is expected to result in a 42 per cent reduction in solar gain and roughly 27 per cent reduction in both energy and water use each.

Audiences will be able to get a glimpse of artworks collected for the Museum in the Birth of a Museum exhibition in Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island taking place this April.

The Louvre Museum project is scheduled to be completed in 2015.