All climates like exceptions. Warmer when it is cold. Cooler in the tropics. People do not resist thermal shock well. Nor do works of art. Such elementary observations have influenced the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It wishes to create a welcoming world serenely combining light and shadow, reflection and calm. It wishes to belong to a country, to its history, to its geography without becoming a flat translation, the pleonasm that results in boredom and convention. It would like to intensify the fascination of exceptional encounters.
Discovering an archipelago constructed on the sea is unusual. As is the fact that it is protected by a parasol creating a shower of lights. The possibility of going ashore or of finding a pontoon to access the shore on foot is equally extraordinary, as is being welcomed there as a visitor wanting to browse unique collections, linger in tempting bookstores, or taste local teas, coffees, and delicacies.
It is a calm and complex place. A contrast of a series of museums cultivating their differences and their authenticities. It 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.
A double dome 590 feet (180 meters) in diameter, flat, perfect radiating geometry, randomly perforated woven material, creating a shadow punctuated by bursts of sun. The dome gleams in the Abu Dhabi sunshine. At night, this protected landscape is an oasis of light under a starry dome.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi thus becomes the end of an urban promenade, a garden on the coast, a cool haven, shelter from the light of day and evening, its aesthetic consistent with its role as a sanctuary for the most precious works of art.
STATUS Under construction
LOCATION Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi
CLIENT TDIC (Tourism Development & Investment Company)
CLIENT ADVISOR AFM (Agence France-Muséums)
ARCHITECT Jean NOUVEL – Ateliers Jean Nouvel (Paris, FR)
PARTNER ARCHITECT Hala WARDÉ - HW architecture (Paris, FR)
- Studies: Jean-François BOURDET, Stefan ZOPP
- Construction: Damien FARAUT, Kris GELDOF, Athina FARAUT
MUSEOGRAPHY Anna UGOLINI
- Concept Phase: Youssef TOHME, Raphael RENARD, Qiang ZOU, Reda SLAOUI
- Design Development Phases: Frederic IMBERT, Stacy EISENBERG, Sébastien YEOU, Roula AKIKI, Reda SLAOUI, Marion FOUCAULT, Virginie HECKLE, Athina FARAUT, Stéphanie MENEM, Mark DAVIS, Kathryn STUTTS, Abel PATACHO, Anne TRABAND, Alessandro BALDUCCI, Jordi VINYALS, Michal TREDER, Mireia SALA FONT, Camille DAUTY, Steven FUHRMAN, Miguel REYES
- Construction : Michal TREDER, Mireia SALA FONT, Rolando RODRIGUEZ-LEAL, Natalia WRZASK, Daniella DE ALMEIDA, kelly ANASTASSIOU, Maryam HOSNY, Zaina KHAYYAT
RENDERS Clément OUDIN, Raphael RENARD, Jugulta LE CLERRE, Artefactory Lab (Eric ANTON)
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Clovis VALLOIS
- Concept Design: ARUP
- Following phases: Buro HAPPOLD
- Façades : Andrew SNALUNE
- Museography: AJN / Renaud PIERARD
- Graphic design/Signage: Philippe APELOIG, Kristian SARKIS
- Lighting Design: AIK (Yann KERSALÉ) / 8’18” (Georges BERNE)
- Scenography/Multimedia: DUCKS scéno (Michel COVA)
- Landscape: Michel DESVIGNE, Ingénieurs et Paysages, Jean-Claude HARDY
- Acoustics: Studio DAP
- Cost Consultant: MDA Consulting
- Seismic: Setec
MODEL Jean-Louis COURTOIS
- Concept Design: 01.2007
- Design Development Phases: 2007-2012
- Construction: 01.2013-12.2015
CONTRACT TYPE Commission; full design services
PROGRAM Permanent Exhibition Galleries, Temporary Exhibition Galleries, Children’s Museum, Auditorium, Storage, Conservation Building, Public spaces, Administration Building, Restaurant, Cafeteria, Boutique
USABLE FLOOR AREA 35 000 m²
GROSS FLOOR AREA 63 000 m²
BUDGET 2.4 billion AED