Mecanoo’s geology-inspired Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi takes shape on Saadiyat Island


Mecanoo, the Dutch business that not long ago dazzled New Yorkers with its $200 million transformation of the Mid-Manhattan Library (together with Beyer Blinder Belle), is now established to wow museum-goers in Abu Dhabi with its design and style for the emirate’s forthcoming Pure Record Museum Abu Dhabi. Although the 377,000-square-foot new destination was just formally unveiled by the Section of Tradition and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), construction on the venture is now underway at a waterfront website on the island-bound Saadiyat Cultural District. The new museum is slated for completion at the end of 2025.

Established to showcase some of the “rarest miracles of normal background at any time found” and featuring people the likelihood to “travel on a 13.8-billion-calendar year journey by time and house,” the new museum will be flanked by a slew of notable neighbors when it opens its doors, like Jean Nouvel’s domed Louvre Abu Dhabi, which debuted in 2017, and a slew of in-progress—or, in some circumstances, currently stalled—institutions like the Foster + Partners–designed Zayed Countrywide Museum, Adjaye Associates’ Abrahamic Spouse and children House, Zaha Hadid Architects’ Abu Dhabi Doing Arts Center, Tadao Ando’s Maritime Museum, and, last but not least, the Frank Gehry–designed Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

view of museums along the waterfront lit by a pink sky
Watch of the museum of Normal Historical past Museum Abu Dhabi and Saadiyat Cultural District. (Mecanoo/Courtesy Abu Dhabi Natural Historical past Museum)

As for the starchitecture-stuffed district’s freshly uncovered pure historical past-targeted museum, Mecanoo has envisioned a sprawling complicated that will rise together the shoreline of Saadiyat Island like a colossal rock development, “reflecting the museum’s objective of improving upon comprehension of and engagement with the natural world” for every the Delft-headquartered agency. “Every factor of the structure uses geometry as an overriding concept, with pentagonal designs resembling cellular structures.” Water and vegetation—“potent symbols of lifestyle in the desert”—are vital features of Mecanoo’s geologic design and style for the flinty, greenery-clad construction.

In an addition to myriad gallery regions showcasing immersive shows that showcase the museum’s formidable trove of pure wonders, the museum is established to include things like temporary exhibition space, a theater, school rooms, and unique function venues. Signing up for the museum’s general public-experiencing services will also be a planet-class scientific study hub committed to zoology, paleontology, maritime biology, molecular study, and earth sciences.

entrance to a rock-like museum
Softened by greenery, the museum’s craggy exterior was inspired by normal geologic formations. (Mecanoo/Courtesy Abu Dhabi Pure History Museum)

A group-drawing emphasize of the museum touted by DCT Abu Dhabi will be “Stan” (aka BHI 3033), a 39-foot-extensive Tyrannosaurus rex uncovered in South Dakota in 1987 that ranks as a person of the world’s most perfectly-preserved and analyzed T. rex fossils. In addition to the 67 million-calendar year-aged predator, yet another important attract will be the “extraordinary” Murchison meteorite that crash-landed in Australia in the late 1969. Whilst the scope of All-natural Background Museum Abu Dhabi will be world-wide in mother nature, it will also present “the history of lifetime on Earth by an Arabian lens, where local normal assets of fauna, flora and the geological heritage of the location will be component of the visitor journey.” This, for every DCT Abu Dhabi, is a first for a natural heritage museum.

“Natural historical past has a new house in Abu Dhabi,” explained DCT Abu Dhabi chairman HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak in a statement. “A new museum which tells the tale of our universe through some of the most outstanding normal miracles regarded to mankind. These are awe-inspiring presents from nature that we are very pleased to share with the planet — unlocking tens of millions of a long time of information to not only advance scientific discovery but to inspire our children to guard our planet’s long term.”


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Natasha M. McKnight

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