The values and identity of the Louvre Abu Dhabi are based on discovery, exchange and education. These are sustained by a unique alliance between the greatest museum in the world, a perennial place of beauty and knowledge, and a modern Arabia, whose exceptional dynamism is at the heart of the contemporary world. As the first universal museum outside the Western world, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will inaugurate on Arab soil a cultural institution born in Europe.
The scientific and cultural project of Louvre Abu Dhabi takes the importance of this symbol and translates it into an original museographic form. The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be a fine arts museum whose purpose and scope are universal. It will present paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, archaeological findings, and decorative arts, created and collected all over the world. The museum will be designed for the XXIst century and dedicated to the people living or visiting the emirates. The galleries will showcase art from different civilisations, cultures and eras, while overstepping boundaries between techniques and geographic regions.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi will deliver a very ambitious and innovative cultural and educational message. The scientific and cultural project of the museum will highlight the wealth of French public collections and will offer a wide variety of these, in a single location. The temporary-exhibition program will amplify the message in the museum’s galleries, by inviting collectors from around the world to participate in original events.
Jean Nouvel’s design concept for the Louvre Abu Dhabi owes as much to the tradition of great Arabian architecture as it does to the Saadiyat site’s distinctive features. Its majestic, seemingly ‘floating’ 180m-diameter dome echoes the great domes of Islamic design, as its ‘skin’ was inspired by the mushrabiya.
Jean Nouvel described the project as an “island on the island”: a micro-city of small buildings, ponds and landscaping. The lacy dome will cover two-thirds of the museum city, which will let a “diffuse, magical light come through”. This magical light will illuminate the gallery interior, while the water below will be crucial in reflecting the building’s structure and creating an intense architectural and museum experience for the visitors.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is due to open in 2015.
When Jean Nouvel won the prestigious Pritzker architecture prize in 2008, the award jury noted his “persistence, imagination, exuberance, and, above all, [his] insatiable urge for creative experimentation”. Jean Nouvel is known around the world for constantly challenging accepted norms in order to push the boundaries of his field. Jean Nouvel’s architecture is always inspired by the feature and history of the site. Thus, he is renowned all around the world for contextualisation.
He has worked on more than 200 projects, including the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris (Institute of Arab World), which won him instant fame with its Arabesque latticework. His outstanding credits include the bullet-shaped Torre Agbar in Barcelona, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, the Musée du quai Branly in Paris, and the recently inaugurated Copenhagen Concert Hall.
- Full Operation
- Soft Opening
- Interior Fit Out