The construction of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Abu Dhabi on Saadiyat Island in the Persian Gulf is about to start. One of the most eagerly awaited cultural projects in the Middle East will consist of plaster blocks and translucent self-cooling cones at 30,000sqm and is slated to be 12 times the size of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Guggenheim New York.
The design is inspired by expansive industrial studio spaces and reflects the large scale at which many contemporary artists work. A pile of galleries in different heights, shapes, and character allow curatorial to easily organise exhibitions at increased dimensions than before. These galleries connected by catwalks center around a covered courtyard. A combination of vertical and horizontal spaces for exhibition organisation is created by additional vertical clusters of galleries.
As the project site is surrounded on three sides by the waters of Arabic sea, it serves as a manmade breakwater and protects the island’s north beach zone.
No completion date has been set yet, but is expected to be in the next four years.