As groups gather for some of the first events on Saadiyat Island, Jean Nouvel was testing the theories behind his massive open-air dome that will block the light and heat of the Emirates sun, The National reports:
Inside a large warehouse on Saadiyat Island yesterday, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan looked up in wonder. Sunbeams cut through the darkened space, hitting a section of wall in a bright, dappled pattern.
“This is like poetry,” said Sheikh Sultan, the chairman of the Tourism Development & Investment Company. “You can see the rays very clearly. This shows it works. It can be done.” He was pointing to a mock-up of the domed roof that will cover the Louvre Abu Dhabi, one of four museums planned for the centre of Saadiyat Island’s cultural district. Engineers had created a small section of what will eventually be a 180-metre-wide dome and placed it over the flat top of the pyramid-shaped warehouse. Jean Nouvel, the architect of the project, called the resulting display of sunlight coming through the lattice-covered dome a “rain of light”.
The holes in the dome appear random at first, but they are actually created by 10 layers of different patterns. “It’s a geometry,” Mr Nouvel said. “It’s a special system that creates patterns with rotation. As the sun moves, the light changes.” The dome will be an open-air structure covering individual galleries below.
Rain of Light for Louvre Abu Dhabi (The National)