Foster + Partners' Zayed National Museum; Image: Foster + Partners
Over the past several years, Abu Dhabi has been host to some of the world's greatest architectural excesses--mankind's tallest structure, the planet's largest man-made island, plans for an extravagant underwater hotel--that remain unmatched by few other places (or economies). Abu Dhabi, it seems, can and will build whatever it wants. Museums are next on the list, and the capital city has enlisted the world's most renowned architects to build its iconic cultural institutions.
But several delays, funding problems, and public concerns over worker conditions have held up construction of works by Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, and Jean Nouvel. Rumors were building that Gehry's Guggenheim Abu Dhabi had actually been canceled, with Foster's Zayed National Museum and Nouvel's Louvre Abu Dhabi expected to meet the same "fate". As if to allay those fears, the trio will speak at the Abu Dhabi Art Fair next week (November 7-10) to discuss their plans and progress of their respective projects.
The Zayed National Museum; Image: Foster + Partners
In a discussion titled "Birthing of Skylines" the legendary architects will reveal the future of art and cultural history institutions in Abu Dhabi. The Louvre is set to open first in 2015, while the Zayed National Museum is planned for 2016 and the Guggenheim for 2017.
The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Image: Gehry Partners
The Louvre Abu Dhabi; Image: Atelier Jean Nouvel