The Louvre in Abu Dhabi, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, is under construction in an artificial archipelago at the end of the city’s waterfront. Work is due to be completed in 2015.
The project reinterprets a key symbolic element in Arab architecture: the dome, not a traditional Arabian dome but a geometrically flat solid with a diameter of 180 metres.
Perforated at several different, apparently random points to let daylight in to light up the spaces below while mitigating the strength of the sun, by night the building looks like a reassuring starry sky.
The dome protects the artworks and visitors from Abu Dhabi’s extreme temperatures, mitigating them and limiting thermal shock while creating a comfortable, serene environment through skilful use of light and shadow.