The Leisure Media Company Ltd
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The Leisure Media Company Ltd

Louvre Abu Dhabi hits major milestone as temporary sea walls come down

The under-development Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi took a major step forward this week when the temporary sea wall surrounding the structure came down, flooding the area around the building.

Contractor Arabtec Holdings has removed the 14m (46ft) temporary hydraulic cutoff walls used during the main construction phase, with the sea water now enveloping the museum, giving it the appearance of floating on water.

"This delicate process is the result of months of planning and preparation to ensure that the inflow of seawater takes place in a controlled manner around and within strategic places in the museum," said Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development & Investment Company chair Ali Majed al-Mansoori.

Water is a key part of the Jean Nouvel-designed building, with a system based on ancient Arabic engineering being used to allow water to flow between the outer areas of the museum and to the galleries inside.

Louvre Abu Dhabi will be the anchor for the under-development Saadiyat Cultural District, with the Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi to follow in its footsteps.

Government officials said at the end of 2015 that the museum was on course for a mid-2016 handover, with an amended opening date of the end of this year.

Work on the iconic structure’s roof was completed in October last year, along with all 9,200sq m (99,000sq ft) of the museum’s galleries, plus the concrete work for the basement levels and security screening facility through which vehicles will transport artwork.

The opening date was pushed back by officials owing to delays in the procurement and installation of artwork. The museum’s curator, Jean-François Charnier, had previously said that pieces would take three months to hang and the emirate was working hard to “fill gaps in the collection”.

Louvre Abu Dhabi  Museum  Gallery  Jena Nouvel 
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The under-development Louvre museum in Abu Dhabi took a major step forward this week when the temporary sea wall surrounding the structure came down, flooding the area around the building. Contractor Arabtec Holdings has removed the 14m (46ft) temporary hydraulic cutoff walls used during the main construction phase, with the sea water now enveloping the museum, giving it the appearance of floating on water. "This delicate process is the result
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The museum now gives the illusion of floating on water
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