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Cultural venues are truly transformative places. Where else can you travel through time, explore the world, and listen to the life stories of strangers without leaving your seat?
Their value to society is unique, and an experience that starts at an individual level can radiate across cities and countries to achieve international acclaim.
Take, for example, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which challenges conventional museum design to realise an iconic venue that elevates international gallery standards to a new level. Similarly, The King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture creates a visual oasis in the arid desert landscape, then reaches beyond the aesthetic to provide a functional home for programmes that will catalyse cultural, educational and social development across the Kingdom.
We understand that the success of a venue lies not only in impressive architecture, but in the experience of each and every person that steps foot inside it. That is why we are building on the energy and momentum of last year’s Venue of Value thought leadership programme to deepen our research into the parameters of cultural spaces at an individual, venue and district scale.
Using the latest technologies to capture and analyse big data, and harnessing BIM to explore our designs in a virtual environment, we are now able to understand the power of engineering to elevate the user experience. This insight gives us the ability to design venues with distinctive identities that deliver stronger engagement for audiences, and in doing so increase return on investment for our clients and society at an economic and social level.
Realising a world class work of art
Louvre Abu Dhabi
Louvre Abu Dhabi is the jewel in the crown of Saadiyat Island’s cultural district, providing a unique and inspiring exhibition space for some of the world’s most valuable artwork. Taking inspiration from a traditional Arabian souk and fusing it with highly conceptual design, the Louvre Abu Dhabi turns the conventional museum experience on its head to provide visitors with a unique environment in which to explore and engage with art. Key to this is the vast domed roof, comprising eight layers of perforated aluminium that allow light to permeate through to create a mesmerising ‘rain of light’ effect in the galleries below. Supported on only four points, the roof also allows for an uninterrupted flow of visitors through the gallery and creates a contained microclimate that promotes low energy conditioning throughout.
The project is based on one of the major symbols of Arabic architecture; the cupola. But here, it is a modern proposal made evident by its obvious gap with tradition.
The dome is doubled and flat with a 180-metre diameter, offering a perfect luminous geometry drilled in a more random weaved material which created a shadow punctuated with sun bursts. It shines in the sun of Abu Dhabi. At night, the protected landscape turns into a haven of light under a star-spangled cupmaola.
Ateliers Jean Nouvel
Immortalising the legends of the silver screen
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Los Angeles
Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is set to pay a glittering tribute to the work of Hollywood stars past and present. BuroHappold is providing integrated engineering services on this project, which will see the historic May Company building renovated to create 27,000m²
of immersive exhibition galleries, movie theatres, educational studios and event spaces. A soaring, spherical glass dome will be built adjacent to the existing structure, adding a dash of visual drama in tribute to the film industry that the Museum celebrates.
Curating a connection between people and art
Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
Featuring a 15,000m² museum, 10,000m² theatre and surrounding open air public forum, the new Museum of Modern Art is the largest cultural development to take place in Poland’s recent history. Designed and engineered to establish greater connection between the public, art and performance, the museum building will be accessible from all sides and the adjacent theatre will host open-air events and concerts. Our structural engineers are providing elegant solutions to realise the minimalist architecture, and our MEP team the streamlined services required to deliver internal conditions that sustain audience attention and engagement within this outstanding cultural venue.
Creating a cultural oasis that reflects its surroundings
King Abdulaziz Centre For World Culture, KSA
The King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture is dedicated to promoting cultural, educational and social development within the Kingdom. The striking concept for a complex of five amorphous buildings, which together resemble a rock mass in the middle of the desert, presented our experts with a number of opportunities to flex their creativity. Nowhere is this more apparent than in our unique facade design, which wraps the building in pre-curved titanium tubes to create a glossy, reflective shell that cocoons the internal spaces at the same time as providing a perfect visual counterpoint to the arid landscape beyond.