The International Information Center for Structural Engineers

Thursday, 20 March 2014 11:33cat

First Gallery of Louvre Abu Dhabi Completed

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The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be built on the Saadiyat Island The Louvre Abu Dhabi will be built on the Saadiyat Island 3oneseven

Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), master developer of major tourism, cultural and residential destinations in Abu Dhabi, has completed the construction of the first gallery of Louvre Abu Dhabi. The building will open its doors at some point during the fourth quarter of 2015. The museum is being hailed as the first universal museum in the Muslim world.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is being built on the Saadiyat Island so workers built a temporary platform in the water in 2009 to ease some of the difficulties with constructing the complicated design. So far, more than 10 million man-hours have been dedicated to building the project. The majority of the concrete (117,000 cubic meters) in the basement levels has been poured. One of the basement levels will be a 7-meter deep bunker where the museum’s art will be transported into the building. According to the deputy director of TDIC Ali Al Hammadi, “Despite the challenging and complicated design, construction of the ground has been progressing steadily and on schedule”. 

The unique design, created by architect Jean Nouvel, features a 180-meter diameter dome roof that makes the museum seem like it is floating. The dome will allow some sunlight to filter through into the museum, and once finished Nouvel says the building’s “interior will be illuminated by an enchanting, shifting rain of light.”  The first of 85 preassembled structures each weighing between 30 and 70 tons required to complete the dome were raised into position in December 2013. After a delay that caused construction workers to temporarily use a smaller crane to lift the dome pieces into place, the project is now using a 1600-ton crane to lift each segment into place and connect them in a counter clockwise direction. This setback did not cause any delays to the completion date of the project, and the dome is currently 20 percent finished.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi will contain 9,200 square meters of art galleries. Museum officials have started buying pieces for the permanent and temporary galleries.  Although the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a completely separate museum from the Louvre in Paris, the Louvre Abu Dhabi reached a 30-year branding agreement with the museum in Paris worth US$525 million. Another US$747 million will be paid to the Louvre in Paris for art loans and management advice. The construction phase of the project will cost between US$115 million and US$150 million. 

Sources: Gulf NewsConstruction Week Online

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