Architects all working on projects for Saadiyat Island
Norman Foster, Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry have praised Abu Dhabi as a “progressive” place to work.
The three architects were speaking at Abu Dhabi Art last night about the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Zayed National Museum respectively in a talk called ‘Birthing of Skylines’.
Delays were announced on all of these projects last year, but they are now set to open in the next four years.
Gehry said he was initially hesitant about taking on the job “because it was formidable to travel here”.
“At the beginning I thought it was going to be impossible and once I came I fell in love with the region. My friends here have done other work here. This is my first and only project in the region.”
According to The National he also spoke about the legacy of the building. “I’m 83 now,” he said. “I don’t know, I’m worried about whether they are going to finish in time so I can see it.”
Meanwhile, Foster spoke about his other project in the Emirates, Masdar City. “What is quite interesting is you go there, the lights are blazing, it’s a very energy-intensive environment because it’s a laboratory complex devoted to a whole series of experiments about renewable energy.”
Nouvel, whose Louvre Abu Dhabi is due to open in 2015, added: “I’m very proud to participate in the materialisation of this golden age, and this pushes us to go higher and beyond and further because we are doing something that the whole world is looking at.”
Abu Dhabi Art takes place annually and this year is being held at the UAE Pavilion, also designed by Foster, and the Manarat Al Saadiyat exhibition space in the Saadiyat Cultural District.
The pavilion was first used in 2011 when the structure’s 30,000 components were shipped over from Shanghai, where the pavilion was exhibited at the Expo 2010.