The art of construction: the Louvre Abu Dhabi28. March 2018
The first museum to bear the Louvre name outside France, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is itself a work of art, never mind the groundbreaking collection of 600 pieces showcased inside. Find out more about this extraordinary architectural structure and discover how fischer helped to secure the foundations.
It’s being dubbed as the “the first universal museum in the Arab world”, sparkles in the sun, boasts its own island and offers a blend of Eastern and Western art. In November 2017, the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened its doors to the public for the first time amid general applause.
Designed by award-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, the building’s structure is almost as spectacular as the famous artworks housed inside. Constructed in the shape of a low-lying silver dome with a 180m diameter, it appears to float, seemingly weightless, and lies open to the air on all sides. Sunlight trickles in irregular shafts of light through an irregular web-patterned dome made out of aluminium and stainless steel. Underneath the metal latticework stand numerous white concrete cubes.
The art world on an island
Step inside and you can visit the largest art collection in the Arabian peninsula within an expanse of 8,000 square metres of galleries. For its permanent collection, the museum has gathered some amazing artefacts, dating from early civilizations to the modern day. Pieces ranging from Chinese bronzes to key works by Leonardo Da Vinci, Édouard Manet and Jackson Pollock blend Eastern and Western art. Art by Henri Matisse and Vincent van Gogh stand alongside Ai Weiwei’s recreation of Tatlin’s Tower.
The museum is situated on the outskirts of a brand new island of culture called Saadiyat Island. The tourist and cultural development is planned to include other museums, such as a Guggenheim Museum, the Sheikh Zayed National Museum by Norman Foster and a maritime museum by Tadao Ando.
Securing the Louvre
Building a palace of culture in a region of natural extremes of course presents a number of architectural challenges. This includes possible seismic events or temperature-related changes. Thankfully fischer was on hand to ensure that the new venue’s technical foundations were secure. A construction joint venture between DRAKE and Scull International PJSC and Habtoor Leighton Specon (HLS) employed fischer fixings to safely attach power lines and pipes for plumbing, as well as heating, ventilation and air conditioning installations.
fischer engineers even carried out numerous earthquake simulations to check for every eventuality. “Our team succeeded in carrying out over 150 cases of earthquake and stress analyses in approximately four months,” said Jayanta Mukherjee, managing director at fischer Fixings Middle East.
The new Louvre may be built on sand but thanks to fischer, its technical foundations are as solid as a rock.