Abu Dhabi, 5/29/2013 11:00:00 AM - Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC), master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi has announced that work has begun to waterproof the Louvre Abu Dhabi's basements. This technique marks the start of one the most critical stages in the construction process whereby a double-layer waterproofing membrane is installed below the foundation slab areas. That step is taken after the 3,200 steel piles located in the museum's build-up site are given a special electrical charge that prevents steel corrosion using a system known as cathodic protection.
All of this work is taking place in the museum's basement levels; located seven metres below sea level where all the artwork for the Louvre Abu Dhabi's will be transported through a dedicated and highly secured tunnel that leads to the various galleries located within the museum.
Ali AlHammadi, Deputy Managing Director of TDIC, said: "We are delighted with the rapid advancement that has taken place in the museum's construction during the 600,000 working hours logged so far, including the completion of two sections of the lower basement foundation slab. As the museum's completion date nears, we anticipated more important milestones being achieved, which will highlight the significant efforts made by everyone involved in development of this iconic project."
Further milestones achieved by more than 1,400 construction workers on the site to date, include the completion of three massive foundations piers each measuring 16 by 16 metres which form the base of the dome support towers, with work already commencing on the fourth. This is to ensure that they will be able to hold up the museum's 180 metre-wide iconic dome, which is expected to weigh more than 7,000 tonnes.
All of this is taking place on the museum's temporary platform, which was built to allow all works to take place in a dry environment. Once everything is complete, the 14-metre deep concrete walls currently built in the sand will be removed to allow seawater to flow in gradually. The museum, which will then be surrounded with water, will give visitors the illusion that it is gently floating on the sea once it opens in 2015 in the Saadiyat Cultural District.
Designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will encompass 9,200 square metres of art galleries. The 6,681-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 2,364 square metres presenting temporary exhibitions of international standards.
Louvre Abu Dhabi has 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.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be one of the premier cultural institutions located on 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 will open in 2017 - both also designed by world-renowned Pritzker-prize winning architects.