Dezeen Magazine

More images of Nouvel’s Abu Dhabi museum

Here are all four images of Jean Nouvel's design for the Classical Museum on Saadiyat Island (see preceding stories).


The client, UAE’s Tourism Development & Investment Company, sent us the following information on Nouvel’s project:


Nouvel’s design concept for the Classical Museum owes much to Saadiyat’s natural surroundings: “The island offers a harsh landscape, tempered by its meeting with the channel, a striking image of the aridity of the earth versus the fluidity of the waters," said Nouvel.


“These fired the imagination towards unknown cities buried deep into the sands or sunk under water. These dreamy thoughts have merged into a simple plan of an archaeological field revived as a small city, a cluster of nearly one-row buildings along a leisurely promenade.

“This micro-city requires a micro-climate that would give the visitor a feeling of entering a different world. The building is covered with a large dome, a form common to all civilisations. This one is made of a web of different patterns interlaced into a translucent ceiling which lets a diffuse, magical light come through in the best tradition of great Arabian architecture.

"Water is given a crucial role, both in reflecting every part of the building and acting as a psyche, and in creating, with a little help from the wind, a comfortable micro-climate."