Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Date: 2014
Client: ASNOC and Salama bint Hamdam Al Nahyan Foundation
Status: Invited Competition
Size: 18,000 sqm
Credits: ACME Team (Julia Cano, Cristian Gheorghe, Friedrich Ludewig, Laura Patrizi)
Saadiyat is one of Abu Dhabi’s low lying islands that are in the process of urban development. The island was selected as the location of the capital’s cultural precinct, with four major museums designed by Gehry, Hadid, Ando and Nouvel.
The wealth of Abu Dhabi is founded on its oil resources, extracted and refined by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). The money generated by ADNOC pays for the lifestyle of the country, the palaces, urban development projects and the Louvre by Nouvel. Apart from its role as funder of the nation, ADNOC is also responsible to provide the country with cheap, subsidised petrol. ADNOC originally proposed to construct a standard petrol station adjacent to the Louvre on Saadiyat Island, however this was considered inappropriate by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation.
The proposed state-of-the-art fuel-filling station for Saadiyat Island inverts the shape of the Louvre to create a shimmering cloud, providing a structure with an appearance of a weightless, a floating ship covered in solar panels, constructed to reflect the changing light of the sun, and to catch the eye from afar. The Louvre dome and petrol station inverted dome represent the two sides of contemporary Abu Dhabi, a desire for culture, and a total dependence on oil.