The much-anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi will open to the public on Saturday November 11, more than a decade after plans for the spectacular building were first announced.
An architectural masterpiece designed by Jean Nouvel, the futuristic structure is located on the waterfront in Abu Dhabi’s cultural district on Saadiyat Island.
The opening of the museum, a collaboration between Abu Dhabi and France, will be marked by a full week of events.
Nouvel has designed Louvre Abu Dhabi as a museum city comprising of 55 individual buildings that combine traditional Arabic inspiration with contemporary design and cutting-edge energy-efficient engineering.
Visitors can walk along promenades overlooking the sea underneath the iconic dome, made up of 7,850 unique metal stars set in a complex geometric pattern.
When sunlight filters through, it creates a moving ‘rain of light’, reminiscent of the overlapping palm trees in the UAE’s oases.
Jean Nouvel, the architect of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “Louvre Abu Dhabi embodies an exceptional programme in the literal sense of the word. Its vocation is now to express what is universal throughout the ages.
“Its architecture makes it a place of convergence and correlation between the immense sky, the sea-horizon and the territory of the desert. Its dome and cupola imprint the space with the consciousness of time and of the moment through an evocative light of a spirituality that is its own.”
March 2007: The Government of Abu Dhabi and France sign an unprecedented intergovernmental agreement that launches Louvre Abu Dhabi to the world
November 2009: Jean Nouvel visits Rain of Light testing facility, a 1:100 mock-up of the dome, to test the ‘rain of light’ effect
January 2013: TDIC awards Louvre Abu Dhabi’s construction contract to a consortium led by Arabtec
December 2013: Installation of the first piece of the dome
March 2015: Installation of the last piece of dome cladding
June 2016: Louvre Abu Dhabi’s dome lights up at night for the first time; marine defences are removed and Louvre Abu Dhabi becomes surrounded by seawater
September 2017: Official opening date announced
November 2017: Louvre Abu Dhabi opens to the public on 11 November
97,000 m2 built up area
55 individual buildings
3,900 external façade panels
The dome in numbers
7,850 unique stars
8 layers of cladding
180 metre diameter
565 metre circumference
7 metre width
85 super-sized elements weighing on average 50 tonnes
4 permanent piers holding up the dome, 110 metres apart
7,500 tonnes in weight – almost as much as the Eiffel Tower
2 years’ total construction time
Up to 800 workers at a time