TDIC announced the first major construction milestone on Louvre Abu Dhabi – a concrete pour for one of the four piers which hold the 180m diameter dome.
Set for completion in 2015, the Jean Nouvel-designed museum will be the first of the three flagship projects on Saadiyat, followed by the Guggenheim and the Sheikh Zayed National Museum.
The pour was witnessed by HE Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of TDIC and Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), alongside TDIC’s senior management.
The dome is expected to weigh more than 7,000 tonnes – almost the weight of the Eiffel Tower.
The dome will rest nine metres high at the entrance of the museum and will reach up to 30m on the inside.
It is designed to evoke the interlaced palm trees traditionally used as roofing material in the region, allowing the sun to shine through like “a rain of light”.
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 building.
The final stage includes marine works and removal of temporary land platforms.