TDIC has announced that an Arabtec-led joint venture is set to start construction on the Louvre Abu Dhabi in Saadiyat Cultural District.
Designed by French master Jean Nouvel, the much-anticipated museum is pencilled to open in 2015.
The contract, valued at AED 2.4bn, was handed to Arabtec, Constructora San Jose SA and Oger Abu Dhabi LLC following a competitive tendering process.
The team will begin construction work immediately, with the museum’s concrete frame to be completed by the first quarter of 2014.
Work on the geometric lace dome, will be completed by the end of 2014 and result in a ‘rain of light’. The final stage includes marine works and removal of temporary land platforms which will be completed in 2015.
With a built up area of 64,000m2, Louvre Abu Dhabi is conceived as a complex of pavilions, plazas, alleyways and canals, evoking the image of a city floating on the sea.
Hovering over the complex will be a form inspired by traditional Arabic architecture: a vast, shallow dome – some 180m in diameter – perforated with interlaced patterns so that a diffused light will filter through.
With 9,200m2 of art galleries, the 6,000m2 Permanent Gallery will house the museum’s permanent collection, containing ancient through to contemporary art works.
The Temporary Gallery will be a dedicated space of 2,000m2 presenting temporary exhibitions of international standards.
A temporary platform in the sea, where the entire building will be constructed on, was built in 2009 to allow all works to take place in a dry environment.
Upon completion of the building, including the marine works, the 40m high concrete walls currently built in the sand will be removed to allow seawater to flow in gradually.
More than 4,000 steel and reinforced concrete piles – a total volume of 21,000 cubic metres of concrete – were driven into the ground to serve as a base for the scheme.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is developing its own permanent collection, which will be enhanced by loans from 12 French museums including Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Musée du Quai Branly, and Centre Pompidou.
Saadiyat Cultural District will also contain Foster + Partners Zayed National Museum, which will open in 2016, and Franks Gehry’s Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which opens in 2017.
All three museum projects have experienced delays and revised completion dates.