All being well, Louvre Abu Dhabi will open before the end of year. While what's included inside is of course something we're all interested in, one must stand and marvel at the building, which can best be described as an architectural masterpiece, built on reclaimed land.
As the amazing time lapse video below shows, after the temporary walls were removed, seawater slowly filled up the rectangular pools surrounding the awe-inspiring structure.
This in turn gives the iconic museum a floating-on-water look, the central oval dome almost levitating over the saltwater pools.
Traditional Arabic architecture provided Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel the creative insight he needed to build this "museum city" on the sea. The design is a seamless collaboration between traditional local culture and modern construction techniques. Fifty five individual buildings will stand together under the main dome. Each will be filled with interior exhibitions.
The ceiling dome, which has become a talking point for everyone who has driven by the museum’s construction site, is a significant symbol in the Arab world. In addition to its aesthetic appeal, the dome will also shelter visitors from the summer heat, thereby reducing the building’s energy consumption.
The base of the dome spans 180 meters in diameter and will shade most of the museum. Its complex pattern will allow streams of light to come through, before getting bounced around between its eight layers and finally trickling through to the exhibits below. The architects call this effect the "rain of light", because of the illusion of light dripping down inside that it will create. The elegant structure may look light and airy, but don’t worry, it isn’t about to take flight out to sea.
Apart from the various galleries and exhibition halls, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will also include a children’s museum, an open plaza, a café and a restaurant. So, when you plan to visit, make sure you schedule a whole day to walk around, as there will definitely be plenty to see.