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Nouvel’s Louvre dome rises over Abu Dhabi

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Construction of Jean Nouvel’s £85 million Louvre Abu Dhabi museum is now more than 50 per cent complete

Planned to open later this year, the iconic dome-shaped museum is part of the city’s £18 billion Saadiyat Island development.

The 24,000m² waterfront structure will host exhibitions and art works loaned by the world-famous French museum.

Nouvel’s design features a web-patterned dome which will allow sun to filter through into the museum. The concept was inspired by rays of light passing through date palm fronds in an oasis.

Pascall+Watson is the museum’s architect of record and Buro Happold is the structural engineer.

The project started on site in May 2009 and was originally scheduled to complete by 2012.

The client – Tourist Development and Investment Company of Abu Dhabi (TDIC) – then announced it was delaying the gallery shortly after piling completed in 2011.

A year later a new completion date of 2015 was announced and construction of the main complex started in 2013.

Louvre Abu Dhabi was around 50 per cent complete by November 2015, according to TDIC.

Norman Foster’s Zayed National Museum and Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Abu Dhabi – both also part of the gargantuan Saadiyat masterplan – are due to complete in 2016 and 2017 respectively.

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