Culture / Art Republik

Louvre Abu Dhabi Set to Open

The first of its kind in the region, the museum is making preparations to open its doors.

Jun 16, 2016 | By Vimi Haridasan

The opening date of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is looming (though it has yet to be confirmed) and the team behind the project is moving towards completing the structure. In a move that marks another step towards the completion of the museum, the contractor has begun removing temporary sea protection walls to allow the sea to integrate with the museum.

“This delicate process is the result of months of planning and preparation to ensure that the inflow of sea water takes place in a controlled manner around and within strategic places in the museum,” said TDIC chairman Ali Majed al-Mansoori. Built at a cost of half a billion euros, the design by French architect Jean Bouvel will span an impressive 9,200 square meters (100,000 square feet).

Back in 2009, when construction on the structure first began, more than 4,000 steel and reinforced concrete piles were driven into the ground to form a base. The main outer dome, measuring 180 meters, stretches out over the water. It is perforated with designs that will project light patterns of palm trees onto the space below.

To sit surrounded by the sea, the structure uses a water system that is derived from ancient Arabian engineering, allowing water to flow between the enclosed galleries and outer areas of the museum. Amongst the works that will be on display, are several loans from some of France’s grand museums such as the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay and the Palace of Versailles. It will be part of a 30-year collaboration costing one billion euros. The opening of the museum will be followed by the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

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