Opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi
Spectacular Dome Construction of Waagner-Biro

On Saadyat Island, an artificial island just off the center of Abu Dhabi, a number of well-known cultural institutions have been emerging for several years. Together, they should at some stage represent the world's largest concentration of high-profile cultural assets. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first of a total of five museums.


Construction in the size of five soccer fields


At 178 meters in diameter, the open dome construction - made of steel profiles - is the size of five soccer fields. The top and bottom of alltogether seven layers are finished with ornamental patterns made of aluminum profiles, which creates a special quality of light. This special use of the natural light was also the inspiration of the French star architect Jean Nouvel. He skilfully staged a mood that reminds of an oriental bazaar. At only four points the dome touches the underlying building, giving it the appearance of floating. In addition, the museum pavilions are partly built seawater, creating a seeming interplay of direct and indirect reflecting light.

Museum of 55 white cubic houses


The entire museum complex is made up of 55 white cubic houses, reminiscent of a traditional Arab village, which is covered by the large, shady dome. In contrast to the balanced lighting conditions in the exhibition rooms, the central squares and walls of the site are transformed by sharp "Rain of Light" into a speckled, surreal world.


The dome of Loure Abu Dhabi is perforated like a wickerwork basket. The top and bottom layers of the dome are each covered with four levels of cross-shaped, differently sized aluminum profiles that form lattice structures with oriental patterns. By twisting and shifting the patterns, the clear geometry dissolves and transforms the construction into a seemingly chaotic tangle, similar to a starry sky.


Focus on cultural buildings


Waagner-Biro has already successfully participated in numerous cultural projects. These include the British Museum in London, the Louvre Paris or the recently-awarded Etihad Museum in Dubai. After the completion of the entire stage technology for the world-famous Sydney Opera House and the recently opened Staatsoper "Unter den Linden" Berlin, another prestigious project by Waagner-Biro was completed with the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. For his achievements in connection with the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Waagner-Biro was awarded the European Steel Building Award in September 2017.


In fact, world-class cultural institutions seem to prefer sophisticated or complex architecture: "Our specialization in steel glass technology, stage technology and the construction of special machines has enabled us to assume a kind of niche position.We are proud of that, and we want to build on that, "explains Thomas Jost, CEO and co-owner of Waagner-Biro, explaining the success of the Austrian company.