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Foster + Partners-designed Zayed National Museum to open in 2021

Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism has confirmed that the Foster + Partners-designed Zayed National Museum will open in 2021, nine years after its initial planned opening date.

Conceived in memory of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding president of the UAE, the museum was first announced in 2007 as one of three major museums planned for Saadiyat Island's Cultural District in Abu Dhabi. While the Louvre Abu Dhabi opened in 2017, work on the Guggenheim is yet to begin.

Construction is, however, underway at the 44,000sq m (144,500sq ft) Zayed National Museum, which will tell the story of the region's history and its cultural connections with countries around the world.

Foster + Partners' aim in designing the museum was to combine a highly efficient, contemporary form with elements of traditional Arabic design.

With that in mind, the building has mound at its base that could appear to have formed naturally on the ground inside of which the galleries will be housed.

Through being dug into the earth in this way, the main body of the building harnesses the ground's thermal properties, helping to regulate the internal temperature of the gallery, performance, shop and cafe spaces it contains.

Built on into the top of the mound will be five curved and angled steel towers inspired by the wings of a falcon – the UAE's national symbol.

The towers are sculpted aerodynamically with air vents at the top to draw hot air out of the building, with fresh air is captured at low level and drawn through buried ground-cooling pipes into the museum.

The museum will be set within a landscaped garden that is based on the timeline of Sheikh Zayed's life and two of its galleries will focus on his life.

According to the Department of Culture and Tourism, it will function as a centre for archaeological and heritage research, as well as delivering an educational programme that is aligned with the UAE's school curriculum.

Zayed National Museum  Foster + Partners  Abu Dhabi 
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Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism has confirmed that the Foster + Partners -designed Zayed National Museum will open in 2021, nine years after its initial planned opening date. Conceived in memory of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding president of the UAE, the museum was first announced in 2007 as one of three major museums planned for Saadiyat Island's Cultural District in Abu Dhabi. While the
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Foster + Partners' design for the Zayed National Museum incorporates five steel towers, inspired by the wings of the falcon / Foster + Partners
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Company profile: Willmott Dixon
Willmott Dixon delivers the social infrastructure that people depend on in their daily lives. We partner with our customers to focus on the services they want to provide, not just the building we construct, and we are committed to achieving a higher social purpose through our work.
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