Louvre Abu Dhabi

Martyn White

Posted on December 10 2018

An architectural wonder of the modern world, Abu Dhabi bridges the gap between Eastern and Western art with its Louvre museum. 


Forming part of Abu Dhabi's cultural district on Saadiyat Island, it is only fitting that the architecture housing relics and artefacts from the Western and Eastern worlds is an icon in itself. Designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, the structure presents itself as a floating dome, protecting a complex of white cuboid structures underneath. Despite its apparent weightlessness, the dome weighs approximately 7,500 tonnes, similar to that of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Nouvel took inspiration the impressive domes often seen within Islamic architecture, its geometric shapes formed of 7,850 overlapping stars that allow small amounts of sunglight to peer through and reach the ground, known as the 'rain of light' - a tribute to nature and the shade-giving palm trees of the city. 

Louvre Abu Dhabi Architecture and MuseumLouvre Abu Dhabi Architecture and MuseumLouvre Abu Dhabi Architecture and MuseumLouvre Abu Dhabi Architecture and Museum

While the dome lures the eye up in wonder and scale, the water that surrounds the structure brings visitors back down with its beautiful, calming and reflective qualities. The museum is built into the waters of Khor Laffan, surrounded on all sides and continues the play with light, reflecting hues and light up onto the underside of the dome, providing an ever-changing theatre for guests to witness.  Visitors can arrive by land via connecting bridges or by sea as boats pull up directly into the museum. 

Louvre Abu Dhabi Architecture and MuseumLouvre Abu Dhabi Architecture and MuseumLouvre Abu Dhabi Architecture and MuseumLouvre Abu Dhabi Architecture and Museum

With 4 wings and 12 galleries for general public display, the museum exhibits a chronological history of human creativity that explores the shared ideas and issues that have defined common humanity from pre-history to the present. Featuring a global selection of approximately 600 permanent pieces, from iconic works to lesser-known wonders, the museum also features international loans to provide a fresh and rolling roster of works and artefacts, ensuring there is something new and refreshing for returning visitors. 

For further information on exhibitions current and past, click to view the official Louvre Abu Dhabi website. 

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