Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first museum to be constructed at the Saadiyat Cultural District, has witnessed the placement of the final piece of outer cladding for the museum's iconic dome.
The occasion was attended by Ali Majed Al Mansoori, Chairman of the Tourism Development and Investment Company, TDIC, Sufian Hasan Al Marzooqi, TDIC's Chief Executive Officer, and Louvre Abu Dhabi's Pritzker Prize-winning architect, Jean Nouvel. The delegates also toured the construction site, were updated on the progress being made, and observed first-hand the advanced stages of work taking place across the museum's buildings, including its interior galleries.
The installation of the outer cladding comes after more than 30 million man hours on site. The piece is part of the dome's pattern, which is made up of eight layers of cladding, four outer and four inner, with the dome's structure in between. These layers consist of 7,850 star-shaped pieces of aluminium and stainless steel, of various sizes and angles, the largest of which measures 13 metres in diameter and weighs 1.3 tonnes. The outer cladding, which is now 100% complete and installed, consists of 4,481 stars. The roof's complex pattern is the result of a geometric design, repeated at various sizes and angles in eight layers, giving the dome a delicate form that leads to a 'rain of light' effect. These star-shaped elements make up eight layers of cladding weighing a total of 2,000 tonnes. Major work is expected to start in the next few months, including laying the stone flooring of the museum, installation of the display cases for the galleries, and the completion of the museum's administration building.
"We are very proud of the progress that has been achieved on the site of the Louvre Abu Dhabi today, and it is remarkable to see Jean Nouvel's design come to life. Almost a year and a half ago, the construction team was placing the first super-sized element of the dome structure, and today we are completing the outer dome cladding. This is testament to the advanced techniques used to execute one of the museum's most challenging iconic architectural features," said Al Mansoori.
Louvre Abu Dhabi's construction was awarded to a joint venture between Arabtec, Constructora San Jose SA, and Oger Abu Dhabi LLC, in 2013. Once completed, Louvre Abu Dhabi will feature Permanent Galleries, a Temporary Gallery, a Children's Museum and an Auditorium, while its iconic dome offers museum goers the enchanting ‘rain of light' effect as they admire the museum's rich array of artworks.