Abu Dhabi's Louvre museum gains star canopy dome

Workers place the final piece of the outer cladding of the dome structure of the future Louvre museum still under contruction on Saadiyat island, near Abu Dhabi.
Workers place the final piece of the outer cladding of the dome structure of the future Louvre museum still under contruction on Saadiyat island, near Abu Dhabi. PHOTO: AFP

ABU DHABI (AFP) - The last of nearly 4,500 metal stars was placed on the outer layer of the dome on Abu Dhabi's Louvre museum, expected to open by the end of 2016.

The final star was added on Sunday in the presence of prize-winning French architect Jean Nouvel, said Abu Dhabi's Tourism Development and Investment Company (TDIC).

"The outer cladding consists of 4,481 stars which is now 100 per cent complete," it said.

The giant 180-metre (yard) dome is perforated with designs that will project light patterns in the shape of palm trees onto the exhibition space below.

The outer canopy is part of eight layers of cladding comprised of 7,850 star-shaped pieces of aluminium and stainless steel, the largest of which measures 13 metres in diameter and weighs 1.3 tonnes.

TDIC said major work was expected in the next few months to lay the museum's stone flooring, display cases for galleries and to complete the administration building.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, built on the island of Saadiyat in the oil-flush Emirate, is to have 9,200 square metres of art galleries.