National Geographic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) announced today the launch of its latest film in its world-famous Megastructures series, 'The Making of Louvre Abu Dhabi', the Arab world’s first universal museum.
The 44-minute documentary, in partnership with the Tourism, Development and Investment Company in Abu Dhabi and the Department of Culture & Tourism of Abu Dhabi, documents the making of a unique museum-city with the scale, aesthetics and complexity to be placed in the lineage of world-defining masterpieces.
Chronicling the construction of Louvre Abu Dhabi over a five-year period, the film provides a rare behind the scenes look at the building, operation, and staffing of this massive undertaking through following the large team of architects, project managers and visionaries as they take the Louvre Abu Dhabi from concept to realization. As the film highlights, the building of Louvre Abu Dhabi was like the construction of a small city, from its foundations up to the massive 7,000-ton floating dome, and from its awe-inspiring ‘rain of light’ down to its 55 buildings below, waterways and associated infrastructure.
Commenting on the film, Abdulrahman Awadh Al Harthi, Acting Executive Director of Television at Abu Dhabi Media, said: “This documentary on Louvre Abu Dhabi constitutes a significant milestone within Abu Dhabi Media and National Geographic Abu Dhabi’s commitment towards highlighting the primacy of art and culture in UAE society, underpinning the evolution of the Emirate as it flourishes into a global cultural destination of distinction.”
Al Harthi added,“Our work on the making of Louvre Abu Dhabi exceeds, in its significance, the making of a world-class film in our Megastructures series. In creating this film, we are documenting a legacy through chronicling the construction of a project which is not only re-defining the cultural landscape of the United Arab Emirates, but is slated to become one of the world’s biggest architectural, engineering and technological masterpieces of the 21st century.”
National Geographic Abu Dhabi aims to highlight the Emirate’s accomplishments as it develops into a global hub for business and culture. The channel covers a wide range of topics across science, technology, natural history, and archaeology among other fields. The Megastructures series focuses on constructions that are extreme; in the sense that they are the biggest, tallest, longest, or deepest in the world. Alternatively, they showcase megaprojects, which have an element of novelty or are a world first such as Dubai's Palm Islands.
Sanjay Raina, General Manager, National Geographic Abu Dhabi MENA and Senior Vice President, Fox Networks Group said, “We are so honored to have been part of this iconic project, to which we have dedicated our finest global and regional production teams, working together around the clock for over five years to produce a documentary to the highest standards. This is a story for the whole world to see, and reflects the groundbreaking achievements and historic heritage Abu Dhabi is leaving for generations to come.”
The film brings to life the vision of the UAE and France coming together in an exchange of art and culture, through the eyes of internationally-acclaimed French architect Jean Nouvel and the large Louvre Abu Dhabi team’s tireless work. It portrays the project’s immense scale, which required half a million cubic meters of rock and soil only to create a platform for the gravity-defying structure, and harnessing advanced technologies. The film showcases the construction of the cathodic protection that uses electrical currents to stop seawater seeping into the concrete of the buildings in the sea. It also depicts how the water was also brought in, adding a beautiful aesthetic quality to the museum. Through interviews with designers and project managers, it presents the problems of construction and the methodology or techniques used to overcome obstacles. In some cases, this involved the development of new materials or products that are now in general use within the construction industry.
The Arabic version of the film will be on air on Nat Geo Abu Dhabi channel until December 26th. It will subsequently air in the rest of the world in English over the next few months.