For design enthusiasts it will be like seeing Godot arrive at the front door: the long-awaited Guggenheim Museum in Abu Dhabi will finally be ready to open in 2025. With the legendary architect and designer Frank Gehry at the helm, this extraordinary museum is destined to become the most resplendent jewel of any Guggenheim in the world.
I was waiting for Godot, finally Godo
Originally announced in 2006 and initially slated to open in 2012, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi project has suffered many setbacks over the years. Located on Saadiyat Island, an area off the coast of the United Arab Emirates set to make Abu Dhabi one of the world's top cultural destinations, the museum will include a huge group of arts and cultural institutions, including Jean's Louvre Abu Dhabi. Nouvel, the first outpost outside France of the famous Parisian museum.
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, The greatest of all
Destined to be the largest of the four Guggenheim outposts currently in existence, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be a huge complex. 42.000 square meters of galleries and exhibition spaces. There will also be a center for art and technology, a conservation laboratory, an educational facility for children and a theater.
The architect Frank Gehry (who also designed the Bilbao museum) described the Abu Dhabi project as "intentionally 'messy', moving towards clarity". Nice definition. And really, at first glance, it looks a bit messy, a cluster of cones and structures of various sizes seemingly stacked randomly like a brick tower built by a child.
It is the stylistic signature of this genius: many of his masterpieces often arise from a foundation of chaos that is, in fact, quite intentional. Like his past projects (Il Pop Culture Museum in Seattle, or the Stata Center at MIT in Cambridge) its structures challenge the eye to accept what they see as more than the sum of its parts. Angular, conical and which at times seems to defy gravity, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is also destined to become an absolute reference point
It is really exciting to see this project enter a new phase. A great late masterpiece, with a great helmsman who still amazes today (at 92 years old!). It is true that good things come to those who know how to wait for them.