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Louvre Abu Dhabi: The Latest Architecture and News

How to Celebrate New Architecture: Shaping Identity with Spectacular Opening Ceremonies

09:30 - 15 March, 2018
How to Celebrate New Architecture: Shaping Identity with Spectacular Opening Ceremonies, “Vives réflexions, museum reflections,” multimedia and pyrotechnic show for the grand opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi 2017. Artistic direction: Christophe Berthonneau, Groupe F. Image © N. Chavance, Groupe F
“Vives réflexions, museum reflections,” multimedia and pyrotechnic show for the grand opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi 2017. Artistic direction: Christophe Berthonneau, Groupe F. Image © N. Chavance, Groupe F

After finishing a building, the client is faced with an important question: How do they celebrate the new architecture? This moment offers an essential opportunity to inform the public about the existence and mission of the building. Therefore, the designs of opening ceremonies are often loaded with symbolic imagery to construct a new identity. Fireworks and light shows are an especially common part of the powerful repertoire used to magnify the aura of architecture. This luminous storytelling can underline the client’s uniqueness and superiority on both a local level and an international stage. I spoke with two leading designers to get their insights on how opening ceremonies have changed in recent years: Christophe Berthonneau, Creative Director at Groupe F, who introduced the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and Fred Thompson, Creative Director at Laservision Mega Media, who worked on the opening of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Grand opening at Lotte World Tower, Seoul / South Korea, 2017. Design: Groupe F. Image © N. Chavance, Groupe F Inauguration of Rion-Antirion Bridge, Patras / Greece, 2004. Design: Groupe F. Image © T. Nava, Groupe F Grand opening of Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg / Germany, 2017. Architecture: Herzog & de Meuron. Concept: Jung von Matt and gestalt communications. Image © Ralph Larmann Grand opening of Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, 2011. Design: Laservision Mega Media. Image © Laservision Mega Media + 32

#donotsettle Provides a Close-Up Look at Jean Nouvel's Louvre Abu Dhabi

09:30 - 10 March, 2018

In this video, architecture vloggers #donotsettle take us inside Ateliers Jean Nouvel's "museum city" in the sea: the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Filmed one month after the museum’s opening in November, Kris Provoost winds his way through the galleries to the much-talked-about mega-dome—with a diagrammatic key plan in the bottom corner of the video helping us to follow his path.

© Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe + 8

The Engineering Behind the Louvre Abu Dhabi's Striking Geometric Dome

09:30 - 28 December, 2017
The Engineering Behind the Louvre Abu Dhabi's Striking Geometric Dome, © Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia
© Luc Boegly & Sergio Grazia

Walking into Abu Dhabi’s new Louvre Museum, one is immediately greeted by a flood of dappled light created by the stunning, multi-layered lattice covering the interweaving interior spaces of the building. The intricate geometric dome is both reminiscent of traditional Arabic architecture screens and crucial in achieving Architect’s Jean Nouvel’s vision for a “rain of light.” But what went into the design and construction of the building’s most striking element, and how does it function structurally? Ateliers Jean Nouvel worked for over one year in close collaboration with BuroHappold Engineering to develop a design which is both an architectural and structural masterpiece. We spoke with Andy Pottinger, Associate Director at BuroHappold, to understand the dome in more depth.

© BuroHappold Engineering © BuroHappold Engineering © BuroHappold Engineering © BuroHappold Engineering + 13

Critical Round-Up: The Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel

09:30 - 21 November, 2017
Critical Round-Up: The Louvre Abu Dhabi by Jean Nouvel, © Laurian Ghinitoiu
© Laurian Ghinitoiu

Earlier this month, Abu Dhabi’s much-awaited “universal museum,” the Louvre Abu Dhabi designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Jean Nouvel, was opened to the public. After several years of delays and problems including accusations of worker rights violations, revisions in economic strategies, and regional turmoil, the completion of the museum is a feat in itself. Critics, supporters, naysayers, artists, economists, and human rights agencies, have all closely followed its shaky progress, but now that it’s finally open, reviews of the building are steadily pouring in.

Read on to find out how critics have responded to Nouvel’s work so far.

© Marc Domage © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe © Roland Halbe + 9

See the Incredibly Complex Louvre Abu Dhabi Constructed Over 8 Years in This Timelapse

12:30 - 20 November, 2017

With its massive, intricate roof and man-made pools and canals, Ateliers Jean Nouvel's astonishingly complex Louvre Abu Dhabi was a project 10-years in the making before finally debuting to the public earlier this month. But even if the project missed it's original completion date, it certainly wasn't for lack of trying – and that's proven in this new video timelapse from EarthCam.

The video captures the 8-year-long construction process from groundbreaking to completion, showing the museum as it came together from a variety of perspectives, including how the roof was assembled in mid-air before being gently lowered into place, and the enormous effort of earth moving to build the unique site.

Check out the video below.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Announces November Grand Opening

12:20 - 8 September, 2017
Louvre Abu Dhabi Announces November Grand Opening, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s plaza. Image © Mohamed Somji
Louvre Abu Dhabi’s plaza. Image © Mohamed Somji

The Ateliers Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi is ready to make its grand first appearance, as the museum announced it will open to the public on November 11th.

Opening celebrations will take advantage of the unique structure, with a series of concerts, performances and events planned for a variety of spaces beneath the building’s 180-meter geometric dome. Comprised of nearly 8,000 arabic motif stars, the steel pattern will filter sunlight into a dramatic ‘rain of light’ on the museum’s walls and floors that calls to mind shadows created by overlapping palm trees.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s exterior. Image © Mohamed Somji Louvre Abu Dhabi’s exterior with Abu Dhabi’s skyline (night). Image © Mohamed Somji Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ‘rain of light’. Image © Mohamed Somji View overlooking the sea. Image © Mohamed Somji + 5

A Sneak Peek into Jean Nouvel's Louvre Abu Dhabi as It Prepares for Fall Opening

17:01 - 25 August, 2017
A Sneak Peek into Jean Nouvel's Louvre Abu Dhabi as It Prepares for Fall Opening, via Twitter user Ludovic Pouille
via Twitter user Ludovic Pouille

The long-awaited Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, is getting ready for a grand opening, with images showing the metal-domed building in the final stages of construction. Officially started in 2009, work on the museum is nearly complete, with a rumored opening date scheduled for this November.

Watch the Louvre Abu Dhabi Perimeter Flood

16:00 - 17 June, 2016

Update 9/20/16: The opening date for the museum has been pushed back to 2017.

Earlier this week, the temporary sea wall that had been separating the Louvre Abu Dhabi from the seawater of the Persian Gulf was removed, creating a new harmony between site and structure as envisioned in the original project renderings. The building, which was conceived in 2007 and designed by Jean Nouvel, is set to open later this year.