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  COME VEDERE L'ARCHITETTURA CONTEMPORANEA HOW TO SEE CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
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BUILDING
 
 
Guggenheim Contemporary Art Pavillions
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DESIGNER
 
 
Asymptote
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DESCRIPTION
 
The Guggenheim Pavillions
Asymptote Architecture recently unveiled designs for two contemporary art pavilions for the Saadiyat Island Cultural District in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The pavilions were commissioned by The Guggenheim Foundation and Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) as part of a larger scheme that will position Saadiyat Island as a leading international cultural destination. The Asymptote-designed pavilions are two of nineteen designed by a group of high-profile architects that will comprise Biennale Park, a feature of Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District that will host a range of cultural events including art and architecture biennials. The nineteen pavilions are all designed along a 1.5-kilometer-long navigable canal.
Asymptote's pavilions are conceived of as state-of-the-art, "big box'" contemporary art galleries. The architecture merges the rich historical and cultural traditions of the Gulf Region with new spatial, technological and structural concepts, allowing for truly unique and historical buildings. The two articulated "shell" enclosures primarily house viewing galleries for contemporary art in its many guises from traditional painting and sculpture to video and interactive installations, as well as virtual reality and electronic art forms. The galleries are designed as flexible and dynamic interior environments, utilizing electronic enclosure designs that filter, modulate and refract external daylight and interior artificial illumination.
The architecture of each pavilion is drawn from influences in nature as well as from the manmade environment. The stone and jewel-like qualities of the forms engender a timeless essence. Poised within the landscape, the inclined geometry of the forms invites visitors to slip beneath the polished surfaces towards the public entrances. Upon entering the interior, the optical effects created through apertures in the enclosure capture the visitor’s eye. Light within the pavilions is filtered and modulated to create vivid and vibrant environments for the exhibition of art and to enhance the spatial qualities created by the robust shell tectonics that encase the galleries, cafés and other public spaces.
About the Saadiyat Island Cultural District
The Saadiyat Island Cultural District is one of six districts planned for the development of Saadiyat Island, a 6,670-acre natural island situated 500 meters offshore Abu Dhabi island, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Saadiyat Island, translated from Arabic as “Island of Happiness,” is the largest single mixed-use development in the Arabian Gulf and is slated to become a world-class, environmentally sensitive tourist destination developed according to a master plan designed by Gensler Associates. Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) developed the master plan for the Cultural District that includes four major cultural institutions designed by Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel and Tadao Ando as well as the nineteen pavilions in Biennale Park. Other components of the district include an office park, extensive retail space and luxury housing.
The guiding principle for the Cultural District is to make it one of the greatest concentrations of cultural experiences anywhere in the world. Architectural distinction will be a defining feature for all of the major new structures, and long-term plans for the district include the establishment of an arts institute encompassing art, architecture, drama and music.

Edited by Asymptote
If you haven't already clicked on the photo strip at the top of the page, for the gallery of photos
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LOCATION
 
Continent
Asia
Nation
United Arab Emirates [Al-Imarat al-'Arabiya al Muttahida]
Emirate
Abu-Dhabi [Abū Ẓabī]
Town
Abu-Dhabi [Abū Ẓabī]
Address
Saadiyat Island
 
 
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TYPOLOGY
 
ARCHITECTURE
Museums and buildings for exhibitions
Art museums
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CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
2006    
Realisation
2010
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CLIENT
 
 
Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC)
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DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Surface
larger building sq.m. 5.000
smaller building sq.m. 2.500
 
 
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