Another world-class cultural gem for the capital’s crown…

Once finished, the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum will add a jagged smear of wow to the Saadiyat Cultural District skyline.

When can we expect to visit Guggenheim Abu Dhabi?

There isn’t an exact date for the completion of the project, in fact, we were unable to confirm whether or not construction has resumed, but the build timeline has been quoted in the past as a four-year job.

True to the spirit of Guggenheim, the plans for the building — cut a contemporary, unconventional, but singularly beautiful design. One that contains nods to its host nation, like the funnel-shaped protrusions that occupy sections of the exterior, that were inspired by the region’s historical wind towers.

A work for art

As outside, so within. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will exhibit a collection of modern and contemporary art, from some of the most important creatives of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Abu Dhabi Culture has stated that the museum will have “a special emphasis on West Asian, North African and South Asian art” and will demonstrate “the interconnected nature of today’s art world, where cross-cultural sources of inspiration and transcultural exchange have become the norm.”

Exhibitions at Guggenheim will be curated around the work of individual artists, the histories of various art movements, and around grand themes with pieces from multiple artists across time and space.

Building something special

The core of the museum will provide 13,000 square metres of gallery space, with the aforementioned cone-like structures adding further exhibitionscape.

Galleries will surround the central atrium on four levels, connected by glass bridges. The design includes 11 cone units where museum guests will be able to view distinct collections by leading contemporary artists.

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Adjacent to the towering glass atrium you’ll find a 350-seat theatre, with the facilities to stage lectures, talks, film-showing, live performances and intimate concerts.

The architect behind the design, Frank Gehry described his vision for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi as “intentionally ‘messy’, moving into clarity.”

Thanks to its coastal placement, the building will also include some pretty incredible views, both of the Arabian Gulf and back across Saadiyat Island.

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s cones have been designed to provide ventilation and shade for the museum’s alfresco courtyard areas.

Once completed it will lend Abu Dhabi yet more cultural cred to its, already considerable, clout. On Saadiyat Island alone, we have Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, The Art Gallery at NYU Abu Dhabi, Berklee Abu Dhabi and more. There’s also the breathtaking Zayed National Museum, to look forward to in the not too distant future.

Images: Gehry Partners