Looking like a collection of toilet rolls, empty plastic bottles and other craft items thrown together the new renderings released for the Guggenhaim Museum Abu Dhabi would not look out of place in a hamsters cage!
The construction of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi museum has been in discussion for over a decade, designed by famed architect Frank Gehry it was initially scheduled to open two years ago but officials have now confirmed that the museum is “on track” and set to be opened on Saadiyat Island by around 2022.
The museum estimated to be 12 times larger than that of Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim New York will become part of the cultural district in Abu Dhabi that is already home to the Louvre Abu Dhabi and will also include the Zayed National Museum which is scheduled for completion in 2020.
The museum’s collection will encompass art in all mediums produced around the world from the 1960s to the present day, and will be a catalyst for scholarship in a variety of fields, chief among them the history of art in the Middle East in the 20th and 21st centuries. A dynamic program of changing exhibitions will explore common themes and affinities among the work of artists across time and place.
Inspired by expansive industrial studio spaces, the museum design reflects the large scale at which many contemporary artists work, and presents new gallery layouts unlike conventional museum spaces. Clusters of galleries in varying heights, shapes, and character allow for curatorial flexibility in organizing exhibitions at dimensions that have not previously existed. Evolving from several main cues, clusters of galleries connected by catwalks center around a covered courtyard. Additional vertical clusters of galleries pile on top of the central circulation creating a combination of vertical and horizontal spaces for exhibition organization. The design also incorporates sustainable elements appropriate for the region, including natural cooling and ventilation of covered courtyards derived from the concept of traditional wind towers found throughout the Middle East.
Abu Dhabi's commitment to art along with the development of Formula One racetracks and amusement parks, are part of the oil-rich emirate’s plan to diversify its economy away from oil and into tourism.