I write about a lot of artwork, but I don’t usually write about the building that contains them. This is either because I am so overwhelmed by the work contained, or that the building is not that exciting. One of my first articles that I wrote for Parkstone International was about the opening of the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, which I was really astounded by as it looked so beautiful from the pictures, and the design of it is really something to be seen, never did I think that I would have the chance to visit this astounding place, but as it turned out I found an amazing deal which included a day in Abu Dhabi, so how could I miss out on this chance?
You may know that occasionally I write about days, so this is one epic day out post. The photos in this article have all been taken by me.
The first thing that you notice about this building is its roof. It is epic. There are no two ways about it, it is made from 700 million tonnes of steel, weighing in at more than the Eiffel Tower, and has been made to give the impression of palm leaves over a souk, bringing a modern twist to an arabic staple. The architect for this building was Jean Nouvel, who has also worked on other building projects such as the Palais de Justice in France and the Gasometre A in Vienna. He has created a floating dome in an oasis as the museum is on an island out in the sea, allowing the waters to lap in to the plaza within it.
I can’t truly explain how amazing being under this roof is, and I was lucky enough to experience it by day, as the sun light dabbles through the holes in the lattice work, and by night as the dome is lit, giving the impression of stars.
I won’t explain about the huge delays in building this structure or the controversy around it, as you can read that in my article here, but I just want to share with you how clever this building is.
Now, I have read some mediocre reviews from people who have been to this museum, complaining about the lay out, or the building itself, or the artwork, and to those people I ask “What are you expecting? Blood?”. There are a few things that could have been done a little better, such as in certain areas the art does feel like it has been all thrown in together so differing ages and cultures feel muddled together, but this could be by design as the museum is trying to promote an ethic of cultures being accepting of one another. I also found the curates notes somewhat sparse, but that is because I like detail and I found myself giving hints and tips to people at things to look at in the artwork as I walked around; but what this museum does give is a clean and bright area to display many very beautiful and famous artworks. You have seen some of the pictures I have taken recently of them if you have read any of my recent articles, and you can see that the lighting and display has been perfect for viewing and recording as they have taken the time to think about what people want to do when they are viewing art.
Stupidly, I thought that all the artwork would be under the dabbled lighting of the roof, but this is not the case, the main body of works are in contained units, but there is large plaza which you can get the full experience from, and there is something so calming about sitting in it watching the waters calmly lap the sets as a gentle breeze pushes through.
The plaza has a few pieces of art dotted around, but you really need to look at the walls, here arabic and latin texts have been inscribed on the walls. Even if you can’t understand what they say, there is certainly something very beautiful about the written word.
If you have the chance to visit this awe inspiring place, I can only encourage you do to so wholeheartedly, there is a certain vibe where, which makes it feel like home (well at least for me) and the way the art has been displayed is intimidating. There is a great buzz from the people (you are definitely not urged to be quite as you are in some places) and you have the ability to get up close to the works.
I would also really encourage you to take some time and look at the scenery from either the view of the restaurant or the bar on the first floor, as this place will give you an uninterrupted view of the Abu Dhabi skyline.
Have you been here? Why not tell me what you thought in the comments? Like this post? Why not share it?
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