A Vision in the Desert - New York Times
Celebrity Architects Reveal a Daring Cultural Xanadu for the Arab World
The designs presented here in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates and one of the world’s top oil producers, are to be built on an island just off the coast and include three museums designed by the celebrity architects Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Tadao Ando, as well as a sprawling, spaceshiplike performing arts center designed by Zaha Hadid.
Mr. Gehry’s building is intended for an Adu Dhabi branch of the Guggenheim Museum featuring contemporary art and Mr. Nouvel’s for a classical museum, possibly an outpost of the Louvre Museum in Paris. Mr. Ando’s is to house a maritime museum reflecting the history of the Arabian gulf.
The project also calls for a national museum and a biennial exhibition space composed of 19 pavilions designed by smaller names and snaking along a canal that cuts through the island. Art schools and an art college are also planned.