Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel
Abu Dhabi, UAE
The much-anticipated Louvre Abu Dhabi will open to the public on Saturday, November 11, an archipelago that is protected by a parasol creating a rain of light.
Like the stars that guide the nomad in the desert, Jean Nouvel’s dome invites us to look up and contemplate our world. At the intersection of mathematics and organic life, the dome delineates a realm unto itself, in which the space and time of the museum unfold. The dome also pays homage to the vital importance of shade in Arabia, and at the same time filters the light to create a kind of cosmic calligraphy of imaginary forms. Beauty is born from this adjacency of opposites.
Jean-Francois Charnier, Scientific and Cultural Director of Agence France-Muséums
Jean Nouvel created a welcoming world that serenely combines light and shadow, reflection and calmness. He stated that he wanted to create a museum that belongs to the country and its unique geography and weather while emphasizing the fascination generated by rare encounters.
The possibility of accessing the museum by boat or finding a pontoon to reach it by foot from the shore is equally extraordinary, before being welcomed like a much-awaited visitor willing to see unique collections, linger in tempting bookstores, or taste local teas, coffees and delicacies.
It is both, a calm and complex place, a contrast amongst a series of museums that cultivate 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 180 metres in diameter, offering horizontal, perfectly radiating geometry, a randomly perforated woven material, providing shade 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.
Louvre Abu Dhabi becomes the final destination of an urban promenade, a garden on the coast, a cool haven, a shelter of light during the day and evening, its aesthetic consistent with its role as a sanctuary for the most precious works of art.
The inaugural installation in its spacious collection galleries will present 600 works of art, half from its own rich holdings, and half consisting of stellar works visiting from its 13 partner museums in France.