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Thread: Cultural Xanadu for Abu Dhabi (Gehry, Nouvel, Ando, Hadid)

  1. #16


    Abu Dhabi is a great cosmopolitan City.
    my friend is from here and says it goes up to higher than 40c in the summer!.

  2. #17
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Warner takes Hollywood to Abu Dhabi

    Financial Times
    By Joshua Chaffin in New York
    September 26 2007

    Warner Brothers, Time Warner’s film and TV division, has launched an “unprecedented” multibillion-dollar partnership to develop a media and entertainment hub in Abu Dhabi virtually from scratch.

    The project, which is being undertaken with Aldar, Abu Dhabi’s largest real estate developer, and the emirate’s new Abu Dhabi Media Company, will include the simultaneous construction of a 6,000 acre theme park, hotel and cinemas as well as the creation of special funds to produce Arabic-language film, TV and video games ...

    © Copyright The Financial Times Ltd 2007

  3. #18
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    foster + partners: designs zayed national museum in abu dhabi revealed



    foster + partners' designs for the 'zayed national museum' in abu dhabi was revealed by is highness sheikh mohammed bin rashid al maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of dubai and her majesty queen elizabeth II of the united kingdom. conceived as a monumnet and memorial to the late sheikh zayed bin sultan al nahyan, the founding president of the UAE, the museum will be the centrepiece of the saadiyat island cultural district and will showcase the history, culture and more recently the social and economic transformation of the emirates.

    the design of the museum aims to combine a highly efficient, contemporary form
    with elements of traditional arabic design and hospitality to create a museum that is
    sustainable, welcoming and culturally of its place. featuring a landscaped garden
    around its base, the museum's display spaces are housed within a man-made mound.
    the interior conditions are regulated passively through five solar thermal towers,
    which host the galleries. the towers heat up and act as thermal chimneys, drawing
    cool air currents throughout the museum. fresh air is captures at the low level and
    drawn through buried ground-cooling pipes and then released into the museum's lobby. air vents open at the top of the wing-shaped towers taking advantage of the negative pressure on the lee of the wing profile to draw the hot air out.

    balancing the lightweight steel structures with a more monumental interior experience, the galleries are anchored by a dramatic top-lit central lobby, which is dug into the earth to exploit its thermal properties and brings together shops, cafes, and auditorium and informal venues for performances. throughout, the treatment of light and shade draws on a tradition of discreet, carefully positioned openings, which capture and direct the region's intense sunlight to illuminate and animate these interior spaces.

    lord foster said, 'it has been a great privilege to work on the zayed national museum,
    to carry forward sheikh zayed's vision and to communicate the dynamic character
    of a contemporary united arab emirates. we have sought to establish a building that
    will be an exemplar of sustainable design, resonating with sheikh zayed's love of
    nature and his wider heritage.'

    project info:

    client: tourism development + investment company
    foster + partners team: norman foster, david nelson, gerard evenden,
    toby blunt, marin castle, ross palmer, dara towhidi, karsten vollmer,
    barrie cheng, ho ling cheung, sidonie immler, joern hermann, nadrew king,
    gemma owen, jillian salter, marilu sicoli, daniel weiss, bram van der wal, simon wing
    engineers: WSP/BDSP AKT
    local architect: planar
    landscape architects: atelier dreiseitl
    lighting designers: claude engle
    cost consultants: RLB
    facade access: lerch bates
    specification writers: schumann smith

    man-made mound: 30.7m
    wings: range from 73-124m
    gross internal area: 58,698 m2
    total built up area: 66,042 m2
    total gallery space: 5,764 m2
    museum & mound site area: 53,331 m2
    public gardens, total area: 21,439 m2

    © copyrights 2000 - 2010 designboom


    Building Museums, and a Fresh Arab Identity

    By Nicolai Ouroussoff
    November 27, 2010


    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — It is an audacious experiment: two small, oil-rich countries in the Middle East are using architecture and art to reshape their national identities virtually overnight, and in the process to redeem the tarnished image of Arabs abroad while showing the way toward a modern society within the boundaries of Islam.

    Here, on a barren island on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi, workers have dug the foundations for three colossal museums: an $800 million Frank Gehry-designed branch of the Guggenheim 12 times the size of its New York flagship; a half-billion-dollar outpost of the Louvre by Jean Nouvel; and a showcase for national history by Foster & Partners, the design for which was unveiled on Thursday. And plans are moving ahead for yet another museum, about maritime history, to be designed by Tadao Ando ...

    Abu Dhabi’s blockbuster deal with the Louvre was signed in 2007; another deal, with the British Museum, to design exhibitions for Foster & Partners’ Zayed National Museum, was signed two years later. The maritime museum by Mr. Ando and a performing arts center by Zaha Hadid are still being planned. These cultural megaprojects will be joined by a campus of New York University on Saadiyat Island’s southern shore and, in a location to be determined, a four-million-square-foot development for media companies and film studios meant partly to provide job training and opportunities for young Emiratis ...

    ... the plan for the Zayed National Museum, the institution that most directly speaks to the country’s identity. The museum was intended to explore the United Arab Emirates’ relatively sparse historical record through the life of Sheik Zayed, a man known for his humility, who died in 2004. Yet after Norman Foster presented his initial design proposal, in 2007, he was told that the country’s leadership wanted something grander, even though there was still no clear idea of what, exactly, would go inside.

    Mr. Foster was sent back to the drawing board, and a team of curators from the British Museum worked out an exhibition program. The new design features an enormous landscaped mound capped by five featherlike wind towers — the tallest one rising 300 feet — an attempt to evoke falconry, a favorite pastime of Arab royals ...

    The new museums will be embedded in a kind of suburban opulence that can be found all over the Middle East, but rarely in such isolation and on such an expansive scale as in Abu Dhabi. The concrete frames of a new St. Regis hotel and resort and a Park Hyatt are rising just down the coast from the museum district, along Saadiyat Beach. Nearby, a 2,000-home walled community is going up along an 18-hole golf course designed by Gary Player, to be joined eventually by several more luxury residential developments and two marinas for hundreds of yachts. A tram will loop around Saadiyat, connecting these developments to the museums.

    As telling, in its way, is the Workers’ Village that I was taken to see during a tour of the island. The camp, still under construction, is expected to house 40,000 foreigners brought in to build this paradise.

    It is neatly divided into three-story prefabricated housing blocks, which are interspersed with pretty courtyards. A two-story structure, just off one of the courtyards, serves as a communal hall, with dining on the ground floor and a library upstairs with books arranged by language: Arabic, Hindi, Nepalese, Tamil, Malaysian. The same languages blare from TV rooms off a balcony.

    In some sense this village embodies a version of the cosmopolitanism Abu Dhabi says it is trying to create. But even if it is completed as planned, it will house only a small fraction of the city’s hundreds of thousands of migrant laborers; the rest will presumably live in cramped quarters in the city’s industrial sector or in faraway desert encampments. And once the museums are completed, a spokesman for the government development agency told me, it will be bulldozed to make room for more hotels and luxury housing ...



    INTERVIEW with Norman Foster

    Foster & Partners' Abu Dhabi museum takes flight


    By Will Hurst
    25 November 2010

    Designs by Foster & Partners for a major museum in Abu Dhabi were today unveiled by the Queen and the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

    Conceived as a monument and memorial to the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding president of the UAE, the Zayed National Museum will be the centrepiece of the Saadiyat Island Cultural District and will showcase the culture and history of the Emirates including its most up-to-date transformation.

    The architecture aims to combine a highly efficient, contemporary form with elements of traditional Arabic design.

    The display spaces are housed within a man-made landscaped mound and the galleries are placed at the bases of five solar thermal towers which heat up and act as thermal chimneys to draw cooling air currents naturally through the museum.

    According to Foster’s, the lightweight steel towers are sculpted aerodynamically to “work like the feathers of a bird’s wing”.

    References to falcons and flight are deliberate because of Sheikh Zayed’s love of falconry, the practice added.

    The museum contains a number of different performance spaces. A large auditorium lined with Emirati textiles will house presentations and films while the lobby incorporates more informal venues for poetry readings, music and dance.

    Norman Foster said: “It has been a great privilege to work on the Zayed National Museum, to carry forward Sheikh Zayed’s vision and to communicate the dynamic character of a contemporary United Arab Emirates. We have sought to establish a building that will be an exemplar of sustainable design, resonating with Sheikh Zayed’s love of nature and his wider heritage.”

    The development, which is already under construction, will be the first of a number of musuems on Saadiyat Island, located 500m off the coast of Abu Dhabi.

    The island will contain the largest single mixed-use development in the Arabian Gulf with the cultural district including the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, as well as a Performing Arts Centre and Maritime Museum.

    © Building Design 2010


  4. #19


    First thoughts are that it is very Sydney opera house. Second thoughts are too bad that its in a medieval country I have no intention of visiting.

  5. #20


    Building Museums, and a Fresh Arab Identity

    "... a Fresh Arab Identity". Yeah, right. Museums are going to do it.

  6. #21
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Abu Dhabi Guggenheim Faces Protest

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Gehry Partners
    A model of Frank Ghery's planned Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

    March 16, 2011

    A group of more than 130 artists, including many prominent figures in the Middle Eastern art world, says it will boycott the $800 million Guggenheim museum being built in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, unless conditions for the foreign laborers at the site are improved.

    The new Guggenheim, designed by Frank Gehry, is one of the highest-profile construction projects in the Middle East. It is to be the centerpiece of a sprawling development called Saadiyat Island that includes a half-billion-dollar branch of the Louvre Museum designed by Jean Nouvel, a national museum designed by Norman Foster, luxury resorts, golf clubs, marinas and acres of private villas.

    The artists’ group says it is responding to a range of abuses that have been reported on the island, including the failure of contractors to repay recruitment fees — which can lead to crippling debt for laborers — hazardous working conditions and the arbitrary withholding of wages. Such problems are not uncommon in a region where almost all low-skilled jobs are performed by foreign workers with few legal rights.

    “Artists should not be asked to exhibit their work in buildings built on the backs of exploited workers,” Walid Raad, a Lebanese-born New York artist who is one of the boycott’s organizers, said in a statement. “Those working with bricks and mortar deserve the same kind of respect as those working with cameras and brushes.”

    The artists say that until their demands are met, they will refuse to participate in museum events or to sell their works to the museum ...

    The first concerns over labor conditions at Saadiyat Island were raised in a report by Human Rights Watch, an advocacy group, in 2009. It said that laborers hoping to work in the Emirates pay fees to recruiters in their home countries of up to several thousand dollars, which can take years to pay back and put them in serious debt before they even start their jobs. Once they arrive, the report said, contractors have complete control over their welfare, often taking their passports and leaving them nowhere to turn when wages go unpaid. Some workers on Saadiyat said that companies threatened to fine them if they tried to quit ...

    The artists said they had to act now because it is a moment when they still had leverage.

    “They are just beginning construction on the museum and trying to build a collection at the same time,” Mr. Raad said. “They need the artists’ participation.”


    © 2011 The New York Times Company

  7. #22
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Louvre Abu Dhabi Construction Progress

    آخر مستجدات تطوير متحف اللوفر أبوظبي

    Published on Mar 17, 2014

  8. #23
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Open Sustainable Design Competition for Abu Dhabi Branch

    In response to overwhelming international concern about human and labor rights violations in the construction of the new cultural district of Saadiyat Island, the Guggenheim Museum has decided to rethink the design for its new branch in Abu Dhabi. While the original design proposed by Frank Gehry is remarkable in conceptual and technical terms, the Guggenheim has recognized that the Abu Dhabi site affords a unique opportunity to fundamentally reimagine the future of the twenty-first century global museum. In partnership with with the Tourism and Development Investment Company (TDIC) of the United Arab Emirates, we jointly announce an open public design competition for the Abu Dhabi branch of the Guggenheim informed by the principles of sustainability, equity, and accountability ....

    Global Guggenheim:




    Statement from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

    Both the news release and website circulated on March 28 by a group calling itself the Global Guggenheim are a hoax.

  9. #24


    While the original design proposed by Frank Gehry is remarkable in conceptual and technical terms, the Guggenheim has recognized that the Abu Dhabi site affords a unique opportunity to fundamentally reimagine the future of the twenty-first century global museum.
    in other words...
    after we saw Gehery's remarkably horrific design, we thought it best to let somebody else (actually anybody else - no not you gene), have a whack at it...after all, it would be very hard to do much worse (but don't tell Gehry).

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