Designs revealed for Natural History Museum in Abu Dhabi

7 April 2022
  • Mecanoo
  • Mecanoo
  • Mecanoo
  • Mecanoo

Abu Dhabi

United Arab Emirates

Mecanoo creates new institution for Saadiyat Cultural District

Tenderstream member Mecanoo has revealed designs for the new Natural History Museum in Abu Dhabi, which is currently under construction in the emirate’s Saadiyat Cultural District. The area is establishing itself as one of the world’s leading cultural centres, containing institutions such as Louvre Abu Dhabi and the upcoming Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. At 35,000 sq m, the Natural History Museum will be one of the largest buildings of its kind in the region, with exhibitions explaining earth’s 13.8 billion-year history, while also providing visitors with a thought-provoking perspective on the planet’s sustainable future.

Mecanoo’s design resonates with natural rock formations in order to reflect the museum's goal of improving understanding of and engagement with the natural world. Every element of the concept uses geometry as an overriding theme, with pentagonal shapes resembling cellular structures. Also playing an important role are water and vegetation, potent symbols of life in the desert. 

The museum’s collection will feature numerous significant artefacts as part of its curatorial vision. One highlight is the world-famous ‘Stan’, a mostly complete 39-foot-long Tyrannosaurus rex. ‘Stan’ will be joined by a Murchison Meteorite specimen, which crash-landed in Australia more than 40 years ago and has revealed to scientists new information about the early solar system. As well as containing intriguing exhibits, the Museum will also act as a scientific research and teaching institution, aiming to ignite a life-long passion for the natural world in visitors of all ages.

HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi, stated: “Natural history has a new home in Abu Dhabi - a new museum which tells the story of our universe through some of the most incredible natural wonders known to mankind. These are awe-inspiring gifts from nature that we are proud to share with the world, unlocking millions of years of knowledge to not only advance scientific discovery, but to inspire our children to protect our planet’s future. As we nurture a new generation of global advocates that are incredibly curious and passionate about natural history, we are fulfilling our vision to enrich lives and make Abu Dhabi the place for research, collaboration and discovery.”

The museum is due to be completed in 2025.

Lucy Nordberg
Tenderstream Head of Research

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