Louvre Abu Dhabi - space architecture by Jean Nouvel


I have long wanted to get into the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, but somehow it did not work out. The museum opened at the end of 2017,

although it can be safely called a long-term construction, constructionstarted in 2009 and planned to complete it in a few years. The initial estimate of the project was 83 million euros, the price was gradually increased until it reached 561 million euros! Since 2007, Arab sheikhs have been paying an annuity for the use of the Louvre name, for thirty years the payments will amount to 525 million euros. And this is only the first museum on Saadiyat Island, on the contrary, the construction of the new Guggenheim (project by Frank Gehry) has already begun, next to the Zayed National Museum, which was designed by Norman Foster. The museum cluster was planned to be opened a few years ago, but life has set its accents while only the Louvre is open. But this is the place to go, and the museum plays the last role here, because the main thing is the architecture from Jean Nouvel.

Contemporary architecture benefits fromcan use computers to calculate the strength of buildings and construct unusual structures. Buildings from Jean Nouvel are not very well known to a wide circle, perhaps the same Louvre in Abu Dhabi can be considered one of the iconic buildings.


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The Arab world loves symbols, and in this buildingis its roof - a dome that closes the space of the museum. Taking as a basis the familiar element of Arabic architecture, Jean Nouvel plays with it and changes it beyond recognition. The diameter of the dome is 180 meters, but it is double - the supporting metal structure in some places peeps out from under the metal stars that are collected in cells. There are 7850 such stars in total, they form a network in which the sun's rays are confused.

The thickness of the dome at its widest part is seven meters,materials such as stainless steel, aluminum, iron are combined here. The weight of the dome is 7500 tons! But, looking at its openwork weaves, there is no such feeling, it seems to be floating above the ground, while under the dome there is a feeling of space.

Museum buildings are ordinary, minimalisticcubes, right angles and shapes emphasize their simplicity. Under the dome and nearby, channels filled with water are arranged; at high tide, some steps go under water; at low tide, they are exposed. The place seems to be created for lovers of photography or filming films about the future.

Water is reflected in the dome and colors it in different colors, the blue color of the water turns into a green tint on the dome.

We were lucky, and my friends and I found an easyrain, drops cannot pass through the dome, but they collect on metal structures and the rain seems to be reassembled by the whole structure, it becomes slow, mathematically correct. An amazing feeling when the rain looks artificial. But most of the time, of course, the sun is here, it penetrates through the dome in separate light spots that shift every few minutes.

The canals are amazing, and they captivate with their beauty, visitors love to be photographed against their background.

And there are specially created openings that give a view into the distance, there is sun and bright colors, unlike the dome, which hides the colors - inside any visitor becomes a bright point.

"Architecture is numb music."Goethe's phrase perfectly describes what you see in front of you, you don't feel like walking through the halls of this Louvre, they are sterile and uninteresting for everyone who has been to the museums of world capitals. It is interesting to be outside and look at how the building and its architecture looks like. It is worth trying to walk under the dome at different times, go out onto the terrace and look at the sea around.

By the way, on the terrace there is a goodrestaurant (you can get into it without visiting the museum), it's nice to sit and explore the surroundings. If you go there, then do not be too lazy to go up to the second floor and see the interiors of the bar, they deserve it.

Jean Nouvel says the Louvre is from Abu Dhabicannot be transferred to Paris or New York, its building is inscribed in the context of the area, cannot exist without the sun, the surrounding colors and the place where it was erected.

There are not many places in life that attractattention or amaze, this is one of them. Therefore, I decided to share my impressions with you, you may also want to come to Abu Dhabi someday for the sake of this building. Good luck with your travels!

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