Rock-like museum to wow visitors with archeological wonders
Former World Building of the Year and European Prize winner Mecanoo has revealed plans for a new natural history museum in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The greenery covered building is designed to take the form of natural rock formations and will host a number of amazing archeological specimens inside.
The Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi will be located on the Saadiyat Island cultural site, which also contains the Abu Dhabi Louvre and will eventually include the Zayed National Museum and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi too.
The project is currently under construction and once complete will measure over 35,000 sq m (377,000 sq ft). As well as being informed by natural rock formations, Mecanoo says its overall form will incorporate geometry as a key theme, with pentagonal shaped areas resembling cellular structures. Large amounts of plants and trees will soften its exterior.
Further details are still light at this early stage of the project, though we do know that the museum will feature interactive exhibits and some superb archeological displays, such as "Stan," a mostly complete 39-ft (11.7-m) Tyrannosaurus rex fossil which was recently purchased for record sums. The 67-million-year-old specimen is one of the best preserved and most studied fossils of the iconic predator. Another highlight will be a Murchison Meteorite specimen, which landed in Australia in 1969 and has again been heavily studied. It was found to contain tiny grains that are up to 7 billion years old. Elsewhere will be a theater and temporary exhibition spaces.
"With a focus on immersive displays, curated collections with exceptional specimens, and innovative, interactive mediations, the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi galleries will take visitors on a journey back to the very beginning of time, narrating the evolution of our universe, the Earth's formation, and the history of life on our planet – as well as providing a glimpse into our possible future," explained Mecanoo's press release. "In addition to global natural history, the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi will for the first time present the history of life on Earth through an Arabian lens, where local natural assets of fauna, flora and the geological history of the region will be part of the visitor journey."
The Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi is expected to be completed in 2025.