Foster + Partners wins Sheikh Zayed National Museum international design competition

UK architectural firm Foster + Partners Ltd has been announced the winner of the international design competition for the planned Sheikh Zayed National Museum on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Foster + Partners wins Sheikh Zayed National Museum international design competition
By Louise Oakley
Wed 12 Dec 2007 02:20 PM

UK architectural firm Foster + Partners Ltd has been announced the winner of the international design competition for the planned Sheikh Zayed National Museum on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

The seven month competition process was organised under a two-stage, anonymous submission format, by the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority (ADTA) and the Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC).

Foster + Partners' winning concept was judged to have best met the requirements of the competition brief to deliver a national museum for Abu Dhabi and the UAE and a unique and defining public monument to honour the late Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the former UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi.

"We will now begin discussions with Foster + Partners to develop the design of this important national asset," said His Excellency Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, chairman of the ADTA and of TDIC.

"There will be further dialogue as we move into a working phase of close engagement between the architects and stakeholders, culminating in a final design."

While in Abu Dhabi to present the Foster + Partners concept, company founder Lord Norman Foster spoke of the need to deliver a building symbolic of the character and mission of the late Sheikh Zayed.

"A visitor needs to find this an oasis - an area of calm in a bustling part of the Cultural District of Saadiyat Island. The project calls for more than a museum, rather for a national monument to values which will evoke an element of contemplation and knowledge absorption and which, by definition, would therefore have a greater spiritual element than the other projects in the district," he said.

The Sheikh Zayed National Museum will feature galleries individually devoted to UAE heritage, environment, the transformation of the Emirates, unity through leadership and education.

The museum will also include an education centre, theatre, shops and a café and a visitor services area.

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