The foundations for Abu Dhabi’s Guggenheim museum will start in three months and is on track to being completed on time.
Lee Tabler, CEO of Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), which manages the development of cultural assets held by the government of Abu Dhabi, said that the rock, which will form a path to the contemporary museum, had already been laid and work on the museum’s foundations will begin soon.
“Hopefully in three months the foundations will start,” he said. The building, designed by world famous architect Frank Gehry, will set a new bar for monumental buildings said Tabler. “The experience is going to be unique and unprecedented,” he said.
Keen to diversify its economy away from oil, Abu Dhabi is transforming itself into a cultural hub for the region. Abu Dhabi Guggenheim will be the largest museum in a series of cultural institutions planned as part of the Saadiyat Island Cultural District.
The cultural district will also house the Louvre, Sheikh Zayed National museums and a performing arts centre designed by Zaha Hadid. Once fully completed in 2018, the 270 hectare cultural district is expected to attract 1.5 million visitors a year.
Gehry’s concept for the museum will feature permanent collection and special exhibition galleries; a center for art and technology; a center for contemporary Arab, Islamic, and Middle Eastern culture; an education facility; a research center; and a state-of-the-art conservation laboratory.