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Brief Published: 1 Dec 2010

Abu Dhabi’s Architectural Ambitions


Under development in Abu Dhabi are several buildings that will challenge its better-known neighbour, Dubai, both architecturally and culturally. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, designed by architect Frank Gehry, will put the city in the select group of locations to house these world-class art institutions and architect Zaha Hadid’s Performing Arts Centre will also add to the emirate’s cultural tourism industry.

In addition to these, the Zayed National Museum will offer exhibitions and permanent collections exploring the history and culture of the United Arab Emirates. Architects Foster + Partners’ design for the museum was recently unveiled, with an estimated completion date for the building of 2014.

The museum will add to the structural transformation of the city with five feather-like solar thermal towers protruding from a landscaped garden. These have been designed to reduce the need for additional heating and cooling methods, providing an aesthetically striking and sustainable landmark for Abu Dhabi.

Gehry Partners

 Zayed National Museum

Foster + Partners