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Building the new Louvre:Turning the desert into a cultural jewel

United Kingdom Architecture News - Oct 3, 2014 - 14:20   1424 views

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A new Louvre museum is emerging on reclaimed land on the edge of the Persian Gulf. It's one of a number of architectural mega-projects transforming oil-rich states in the Middle East.

On an early summer morning, downtown Abu Dhabi doesn't so much shimmer in the desert heat as swelter.In near-100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 degrees Celsius), skyscrapers set back from the city's corniche loom over the edge of the Persian Gulf, modern monuments to the Emirate's oil-fuelled wealth.If the gleaming buildings represent the transformation of the United Arab Emirates over the last fifty years, what's emerging just a ten-minute drive away on Saadiyat Island is a vision of what the Gulf state hopes will be a marker for its future.Today, it's mostly a vast construction site - nothing new for this booming country - but covering 27 square miles, the island is steadily being transformed into a cultural hub with high-end resorts and homes that the government hopes will make the world sit up and take notice.....Continue Reading

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