Louvre Abu Dhabi, opening in 2017 is a universal museum in the Arab world. Its very name is testament to what is an unprecedented alliance of an intergovernmental agreement between the emirate of Abu Dhabi and France, through one of the highest level of cultural cooperation ever created between two sovereign countries. This unprecedented gesture establishes a long and solid relationship between Musée du Louvre, the greatest museums located in Paris, and Abu Dhabi, which is a dynamic force in the contemporary world.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is intended to be a place of discovery, exchange and education. It will also play an important social role in United Arab Emirates. In this respect, it can be seen as a product of the 18th-century Enlightenment in Europe. This movement gave birth to the principle of the encyclopaedic and universal museum housing diverse collections of artworks for the purposes of public display and scientific study. The museum will present major objects from the fields of archaeology, fine arts and decorative arts. It will also represent all regions, periods, including contemporary art and the narrative of art history.
The cultural collaboration between French cultural institutions (Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie, Centre Pompidou, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Musée du quai Branly, Musée national des arts asiatiques Guimet, Musée Rodin, Château de Versailles, Etablissement public de la Réunion des musées nationaux et du Grand Palais, Domaine national de Chambord, Ecole du Louvre, Musée de Cluny – Musée national du Moyen Âge, Musée des Arts Décoratifs de Paris, Cité de la céramique – Sèvres et Limoges, Musée d’Archéologie nationale de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, Château de Fontainebleau) and Abu Dhabi will create a new centre of cultural gravity. French museums will provide their savoir-faire in developing the national collection, loaning works for the permanent galleries and exhibitions during the first ten years. The universal approach suits Abu Dhabi well, reflecting the city’s position at crossroads of east and west, and its vital ancient role in the days of the Silk Route, when the region linked Europe and the Indian Ocean, opening up exchanges between Asia and Africa.
One facet of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s vocation will be to form a shared universal memory. The dialogue between artworks, sculptures and objects will allow visitors to discover shared influences and mutual historical connections between different cultures around the globe, giving insight into the history of humankind since beginning of time. The aim is to avoid the isolation of cultures and disciplines in order to offer a comprehensive history of art, providing an alternative to the particular vision of the world that has long been proposed by museums.
Louvre Abu Dhabi will offer a global vision of history of world art, one that will inevitably evolve over time. This evolution will be shaped by different loans and gradual enrichment of the collection, and, above all, by acquisition of new knowledge and adoption of fresh approaches.
Designed by Pritzer-Prize winning architect Frank Gehry, the museum's distinctive cones recall the region's ancient wind-towers, which both ventilate and shade the exterior courtyards in a fitting blend of Arabian tradition and modern design.
“The galleries are organized into several clusters connected by catwalks and placed around a covered courtyard. Aside from the central vertical circulation from the lobby, each cluster has its own vertical cluster. The connectivity allows organization of art to be vertical, horizontal or combination thereof.”
Surrounded almost entirely by water, the building will have spectacular views of the Saadiyat Cultural District and Arabian Gulf. Galleries, many unprecedented in scale, are distributed around the central atrium on four levels connected by glass bridges above - in the monumental piles of gallery boxes – with further exhibition space located in the spectacular cones.
A transnational museum that will provide a pre-eminent platform for local, regional and global contemporary art and culture.
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi's permanent collection will celebrate the very finest examples of global art dating from the 1960s to the present day. Through a comprehensive series of collections, exhibitions, and educational programmes, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will identify unique contributions to this period in history by focusing on the interconnected dynamics of local regional and international influences.
Scheduled to open in 2018.
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Lord Norman Foster, The Zayed National Museum’s distinctive towers are reminiscent of the wing tips of the falcon, a powerful symbol of the rich cultural heritage of the UAE.
The building is designed to minimise energy usage by incorporating natural ventilation and lighting in the five towers, and using photovoltaic panels and heat exchange technologies.
The Zayed National Museum will be surrounded by a beautifully landscaped garden where landscaping, planting and installations will explore key moments in the life of Sheikh Zayed and his transformation of the UAE.
Schedule to open in 2018.