Louvre Abu Dhabi reaches milestone

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The Louvre Abu Dhabi has reached a milestone with the first segments of the museum’s iconic dome lifted into position.

Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC), the master developer of the ambitious project, said the dome, which has a 180m diameter and includes 10,800 square steel tubes, will feature 85 segments weighing 30 to 70 tonnes and built from more than 100 square steel tubes.

It said they would be assembled on the museum’s construction site prior to being lifted into place atop of 120 temporary support towers by a specially-commissioned crane.

A 600-tonne capacity crane will be used to construct the sections of the dome closest to the outside edge.

However, once construction on the centre of the dome started, a 1,600-tonne plus capacity crane will be used to allow the assembly of the pieces efficiently.

His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and TDIC, said it was a major milestone in the museum’s development and a significant step towards realising Abu Dhabi’s promise to develop iconic museums in Saadiyat Cultural District.

He said this time next year the dome would be completed.

TDIC said once the dome was completed, the 120 temporary support towers would be disassembled and removed. Construction of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s dome will continue in a counter-clockwise direction, closely following the completion of the museum’s buildings and the installation of their mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services, along with interior finishes.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi was conceived through an intergovernmental agreement between the UAE and France. Exhibited artworks are to illustrate universal themes and highlight common human accordances that stretch beyond geographical, historical and cultural constraints, it added.

Over the past six months, Louvre Abu Dhabi has achieved several milestones, including the pouring of over 70,000 cubic metres of concrete across the museum’s build-up area and the on-going installation of a double-layer waterproofing membrane below the foundation slab areas of the museum, an area of 64,000 square metres, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Designed by Pritzker-prize winning architect Jean Nouvel, the Louvre Abu Dhabi will encompass 9,200sqm of art galleries. The 6,681-square-metre Permanent Gallery will house the museum’s permanent collection, while a Temporary Gallery will be a dedicated 2,364sqm space presenting temporary exhibitions of international standards.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, scheduled for completion in 2015, will be one of the premier cultural institutions located in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District, along with the Zayed National Museum, which will open in 2016, and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which will open in 2017.

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