jean nouvel: louvre abu dhabi under construction
jean nouvel: louvre abu dhabi under construction jean nouvel: louvre abu dhabi under construction
aug 08, 2013

jean nouvel: louvre abu dhabi under construction

jean nouvel: louvre abu dhabi under construction

image © atelier jean nouvel
all images courtesy of atelier jean nouvel




a light-allowing, latticed double dome will be the central architectural gesture of jean nouvel‘s design for the ‘louvre abu dhabi. in the spirit of architecture that belongs to its history and place, the design draws from the time-tested passive cooling techniques of regional buildings in form of a long network of pools as well as the woven palm frond roofs characteristic of the region. the fibrous, aperture-ridden layer of the monumental curve acts as both a parasol and diffused lighting device. the dome, 180 meters in diameter,  also formally references a madrasa, mausoleum and mosque while helping maintain a succession of light-dappled spaces that frame the sea and garden. stone, steel and glass render three spatial typologies that vary in their admittance of light and create a variously translucent programmatic gradient. a material palette comprised of stucco, pristine plaster, glazing and reconstituted stone is the tectonic mechanism by which the cultural objects of myriad civilizations are put into dialogue. the overall aim of the museum is to supersede the functions of a house replete with cultural capital and instead become a haven of greenery on the coast– all situated at the end of an urban promenade. calmness and complexity come together with a program of exhibit halls, bookstores and cafes; each function is contained in an accretion of orthogonal volumes and sheltered by the monumental and perfect radiating geometry of shadows punctuated by bursts of the sun. of the structure, jean nouvel stated:


 ‘a microclimate is created by drawing on sensations that have been explored countless times in great arab architecture, which is based on the mastery of light and geometry . . . a structure made up of shadows, of movement and discovery.’




atelier jean nouvel has sent us a video documenting the construction progress of the museum which is projected for completion, and set to open in 2015:


jean nouvel’s ‘louvre abu dhabi’ construction progress
video courtesy of atelier jean nouvel


time-tested passive cooling techniques in the form of expansive pools characterize the museum tectonics 
image © atelier jean nouvel



a woven double dome creates an interior skin of dappled light
image © atelier jean nouvel



bursts of sunlight permeate interior galleries 
image © atelier jean nouvel



‘architecture is about harnessing the will, desire and skills of a handful of people in order to modify a place at a given point in time. architecture is never something you create alone. you always create it somewhere in particular, at the request of one person or several people, but always for everyone to enjoy.’

– jean nouvel



the program and interior circulation promotes a cooled garden effect 
image © atelier jean nouvel



interior views
image © atelier jean nouvel


  • Mssr. Nouvel + an arabic program seems to produce some absolutely outstanding results – the Centre du Monde is still one of my favourite structures ever and this promises to be even better

    dbkii says:
  • This will be an amazing space to be in….

    SHAE says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
492,055 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample