The Louvre Abu Dhabi in the Saadiyat island cultural district is a universal museum of the Arab world, forming a compelling artistic connection between eastern and western art.
For this purpose, works from all over the world will be showcased there – from prehistoric artefacts to contemporary highlights. Yet the architecture itself also represents a spectacular masterpiece, for which French star architect Jean Nouvel has created a magical oasis of light.
The architectural centrepiece is a giant circular dome with a diameter of 180 metres, which is mounted discreetly on four columns to give the impression that it is floating. The ornamental ceiling structure filters the sunlight during the day and generates a rich series of lighting effects, similar to the way sunrays shine through the natural patterns formed by date palms in an oasis. When the sun goes down, the lighting system from Zumtobel takes over and, conversely, makes the light shine artistically from the inside through the distinctive structure of the dome to the outside world.
Zumtobel achieved this impression by creating CHROMOSOME light, a customised solution designed specifically for the unique giant dome. CHROMOSOME light is a version of the CHIARO FT moisture-proof luminaire incorporating a special heat sink to cope with the high temperatures of Abu Dhabi.
Architect: Jean Nouvel
Photos: Roland Halbe, Marc Domage, Mohamed Somji