Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

Sea let in as Louvre Abu Dhabi slowly moves towards opening

Sea let in as Louvre Abu Dhabi slowly moves towards opening
November 24, 2016

Flanked by open water on three sides, and with its basement 10 metres below sea level, the development of the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum has presented unique challenge to its builders and designers.

Throughout the seven year process to build the United Arab Emirates branch of the famous Paris museum on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island, keeping the waters of the Arabian Gulf at bay has been a constant issue, especially with dampness being so detrimental to the storage of often delicate works of art.

However, the sea has now been welcomed back, with the surrounding waters working on the existing structure to create “an archipelago filled with the delicate movement of water and reflected light”.

Brian Cole, Director with building consultants BuroHappold Engineering explained “this project combines one of the most aggressive external environments – seawater – and one of the most stringent requirements for dryness.

“Art storage is probably one of the most highly controlled internal environments, so we needed the highest degree of watertightness.”

The process of ‘flooding’" the site was completed in a few weeks, but the sequence of works that were required to get to this stage began in 2009 with the reconstruction of the entire north-west corner of Saadiyat Island.

Cole stated "this enabled the construction of a platform that the museum could be built on, as well as excavation down to the required level.”

Advising that the design features a double-layer system of waterproofing, Cole added “we’ve created a watertight concrete box, not just because we’re going to have expensive artworks inside, but because the client wanted a 100-year design life.

"Repairing this building will be very difficult because it stands in the sea. Other buildings that stand in the sea, such as the Burj Al Arab, do so on a platform, but here we have the sea coming up to the sides of our building, which is quite unusual."

The construction of this enormous structure began with the installation of a retaining wall, made by dropping boulders off barges into the sea. This created a new, temporary coastline, which was then backfilled using sand pumped from the sea bed.

A hydraulic cut-off wall was made from interlocking concrete piles that descended to the island’s bedrock, and it was only once this barrier was in place that the task of draining Saadiyat’s sodden sands could begin.

Despite the retaining wall and cut-off wall, the site was not watertight. So 28 wells were dug, with pumps placed at the bottom of each. 18 of those pumps ran continuously in a Sisyphean process that involved removing an estimated 250 cubic metres of water an hour, every hour, for six years.

With the backfill drained, Bauer International, the German contractor charged with carrying out the project’s early enabling works, had to excavate 503,000 cubic metres of sand before they could build the 4,500 piles forming the museum’s foundations, a task that was completed in 2010.

After three years of near-continuous construction, the external spaces of the long-delayed project are approaching their final state, with focus shifting to finishing the building’s interior.

With considerable work still to be undertaken, the opening date for the US$650 million project has repeatedly been delayed, with its launch now set for an unspecified date in 2017.

Originally scheduled to open in 2012, then pushed back to the second half of 2016, the landmark museum is one of a series of projects that the Abu Dahbi Government hope will diversify its economy away from oil.

Images: The waters of the Arabian Gulf encroach on the Louvre Abu Dhabi (top and middle), and how the museum will look when complete (below).

12th November 2016 - ABU DHABI LAUNCHES NEW TOURISM CAMPAIGN

28th September 2016 - ABU DHABI’S YAS ISLAND AIMS TO RAISE TOURISM PROFILE AND DOUBLE VISITS

20th September 2016 - LOUVRE ABU DHABI OPENING DELAYED TO 2017, NEW DIRECTOR APPOINTED

6th August 2016 - OPERA HOUSE OPENING THE FIRST STAGE IN THE LARGEST CULTURAL CENTRE IN THE WORLD

24th May 2016 - NO START DATE FOR GUGGENHEIM ABU DHABI PROJECT

23rd June 2015 - UAE LEISURE SECTOR TO ATTRACT 45 MILLION VISITORS BY 2021


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd

Fun Wheels Pty Ltd are the premium dealer in Australasia for the Dutch company BERG’s commercial and domestic products. Our flagship product is their revolutionary pedal go-kart – the…

read more

Attractions / Tourism / Venues

 
 

Spill Station Australia

Compliant chemical storage and decanting solutions. Includes spill kits, spill containment pallets, chemical decanting decks and safety shower and eyewash equipment. See our full range of solutions

read more

Aquatics / Safety / Security / Venues

 
 

BH Fitness

BH Fitness, part of the long-standing and iconic bike manufacturer BH Group, is a global leader in fitness equipment for both Commercial and Home markets. The company, with the headquarters based in…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

Sportybots

We are the leading providers of kids fun multi-sports programs for Sport and Recreation Centres. Programs cover twelve common sports as well as Gross Motor Skill Development and suit children from as…

read more

Fitness / Play / Recreation / Sport / Wellness

 
 

COMMERCIAL AQUATICS AUSTRALIA

Commercial Aquatics Australia provides aquatic solutions nationwide and is one of the largest and most experienced companies specialising in the design, construction, renovation, service, maintenance…

read more

Aquatics / Design / Play / Waterparks

 
 

SimplySwim

    SimplySwim is a school management solution that helps swimming school owners and managers optimize operations by automating functions such as managing class schedules, billing and…

read more

Aquatics / Education / Recreation / Safety / Technology

 
 

Worldwide Sports Management

Principal Consultant Simon Weatherill has spent the last 20 years developing the world renowned Melbourne Sports Hub, as former Chief Executive Officer of the State Sports Centres Trust…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 

Altitude Training Systems

ATS are global leaders in altitude training and research. From mask systems and inflatable tents to simulated altitude facilities, we help all athletes gain the competitive edge. Our…

read more

Fitness / Sport / Technology

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business