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Trio of starchitects joins Zaha in Abu Dhabi - images

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The three international 'starchitects', who will join Zaha Hadid by working on a new cultural island in Abu Dhabi, have revealed their designs.

Following the publication of Zaha's proposals for a new Performing Arts Centre on the Solomon R Guggenheim Saadiyat Island cultural district project (Hadid to build new arts complex in Abu Dhabi), Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Tadao Ando have all unveiled their designs for new museums.

California-based Gehry will be designing the world's largest Guggenheim gallery. The museum, the only contemporary art museum in the Middle East, will cover 32,000m2.

Nouvel is designing the classical museum, which, according to the Frenchman, owes much to Saadiyat's natural surroundings, while Japan's Tadao Ando is creating the Maritime Museum, which has a reflective surface visually merging sea and land.

Hadid is designing Saadiyat's Performing Arts Centre, a 62m-high building that proposes to house five theatres with a combined seating capacity of 6,300 - 1,100 more than the Royal Albert Hall.

The museums, located on Saadiyat Island's Cultural District, are scheduled to open under a phased programme starting in 2012.

by Richard Vaughan

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