Extraordinary Museum of the Future turns heads in Dubai
Dubai isn't exactly lacking in amazing buildings, but the recently completed Museum of the Future is sure to turn heads even in that architecturally innovative part of the world. The building takes the overall form of a big silvery eye and sports an intricate facade that's covered in Arabic calligraphy.
The Museum of the Future was created by Killa Design, in collaboration with engineers Buro Happold, and was commissioned by the Dubai Future Foundation. The building is situated on top of a podium that's envisioned as a green hillside and consists of approximately 100 different drought-resistant local species of trees and plants.
The museum rises to a maximum height of 77 m (252 ft) and its stainless steel and glass exterior is adorned with inspirational quotes penned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which was turned into calligraphy by artist Mattar Bin Lahej.
The exterior is very complex and involved using robots to produce over a thousand different facade panels. It then took around 18 months to install the panels on the building's structural framework. LED lighting also illuminates the building's large void.
"Standing 77 meters tall, the avant-garde facade is made of stainless steel and glass, consisting of 1,024 separate panels, each one specially created by robots and algorithms," explained a press release by the Museum of the Future. "The number of panels has its own significance. It represents a basic unit of the digital information storage system of computers, which is a kilobyte, and each kilobyte is equal to 1,024 bytes. The Arabic script windows cast light into the interior by day and at night illuminate the city's iconic skyline with 14 kilometers [8.7 miles] of energy-saving, resource-efficient LED lights.
"Due to the building's complex geometry and flowing calligraphy, each separate panel is unique. No two are alike. Each piece had to be individually precast and produced, with numerous prototypes designed and manufactured before a winning formula could be achieved. Every single panel was produced using automated robotic arms. Each panel is made up of four layers and was created following a complex 16-step process. The precision and focus required to create each panel meant that only several could be produced per day."
The interior of the museum measures 30,000 sq m (322,000 sq ft), spread over seven column-free floors. Visitors enter into a striking lobby area with a decorative ceiling and spiral staircase, from which they can then access multiple floors of museum exhibits and interactive displays. These include an area dedicated to children, another looking at near-future technologies, and an immersive digital recreation of the Amazon Rainforest. The museum is also home to an events space, wellness area, as well as a gift store and restaurant.
While it would be a push to call this huge stainless steel building in sweltering Dubai truly sustainable, it does boast some noteworthy energy efficient features. Collected rainwater and greywater is used for the irrigation of the greenery, while its facade is designed to reduce solar heat gain. Additionally, it gets some of its required power from (unspecified) renewable sources.