Posts Tagged ‘maritime museum’

Tadao Ando’s zen-like Maritime Museum

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Tadao Ando is well known for his poetic minimalist spaces. This project on Sadayat Island, Abu Dhabi is a beautifully rendered form that reminds me of the dow boats in Dubai. Speaking of boats, the boat passing through the center of the model is amazingly poetic.

This is an amazingly unique and creative building. The museum’s spaces look like they could be wonderful. I love how Ando reinvents himself with his simple vocabulary, in this case, using the inspiration of boat sails to express the curve of the building. A couple models are made of wood and they are, themselves pieces of art.

For a Westerner in Abu Dhabi, there is barely anything to do but shopping, so I would love to be exposed more Emirate cultural depth. The Emiratis’ pearl harvesting, trade, dow boats and more continue to inspire me.

The museums of Sadayat Island

Monday, February 27th, 2012

Last week, I visited the Emirates Place Hotel in Abu Dhabi and saw an exhibit on the Sadayat Island museums. Sadayat Island has been developed on-and-off over the past few years, and may now be stalled a bit once again. The plan is to bring some of the greatest art and architecture to Abu Dhabi.

The building designs are wonderfully imaginative, including the zen-inspired Maritime Museum by Tadao Ando (about which I’ll post details tomorrow), the beautifully arabic Jean Nouvel dome with its wonderful shade and filtered light, and of course Zaha Hadid’s otherworldly, soft, and sensual performing arts venues. I am concerned that the local construction wooers will not be able to render Hadid well here, having seen the construction disaster that is her opera hall in Guangzhou, China.

A separate room features Sir Norman Foster design for the Zayed Museum, which is an amazing centerpiece. I’ll profile that on Wednesday.

The overall exhibit talks about Abu Dhabi and the importance of bringing culture to the Emirates. The legacy of Sheikh Zayed will certainly be solidified through these great projects if they move forward. The only one that troubles me is Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim–it looks like a typical bunch of toys left unkept. Some compare it with the Bilbao project, which is somewhat more controlled. This one will not have much usable space as it’s just a bunch of forms tossed about.