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Workers in May started waterproofing the French art gallery's vast basements. Marwan Naamani / AFP
Workers in May started waterproofing the French art gallery's vast basements. Marwan Naamani / AFP

TDIC invites bids on road network for Louvre Abu Dhabi

The long-awaited Saadiyat Island Cultural District came a step closer to completion yesterday as master developer TDIC invited contractors to submit bids to build the roads around the new Louvre museum.

The long-awaited Saadiyat Island Cultural District came a step closer to completion yesterday as the master developer TDIC invited contractors to submit bids to build the roads around the new Louvre museum.

In an official tender, TDIC asked contractors to submit bids to build the roads, utility services and infrastructure to service the individual plots within the 2.4 million square metre Cultural District that will eventually be home to the Abu Dhabi branch of the Louvre, the Guggenheim and the Zayed National Museum.

TDIC said the tender would also include constructing a main access road to link the Cultural District with the Sheikh Khalifa Expressway.

The Cultural District, at the westernmost point of the triangular-shaped island, is planned to also include a Zaha Hadid-designed performing arts centre, a luxury shopping mall, boutique hotels, a canal and souq and luxury homes.

The Dubai-based contractor Arabtec started work on the Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre, located in the centre of the Saadiyat Cultural District, at the start of the year. The museum is scheduled to open its doors in 2015, followed by the Zayed National Museum in 2016, and Guggenheim in 2017. Work on a 168,000 sq metre luxury shopping mall linking the three museums is scheduled to start next year and to be completed by 2017.

TDIC was unavailable to comment on the number of roads that would be constructed as part of the contract or the value of the overall tender.

The news came as Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) awarded the Louvre project three out of a possible five pearls in its Estidama environmentally friendly building system.

The museum, which has a built up area of 64,000 sq metre, is the first cultural development to be awarded an Estidama rating, which measures levels of sustainability in buildings.

A UPC-led team found the building was able to reduce external heat gain by 71.7 per cent, thanks to its highly insulated, airtight walls and minimal use of windows. It was able to reduce energy consumption by 30.8 per cent as perforations in the museum's dome allow sunlight to filter through, while providing shade. And special water fixtures led to a 27.3 per cent reduction in potable water consumption.

"The museum's dome is one of the best examples of energy use reduction in its overall design. Acting primarily as a canopy to shelter the outside plaza and buildings below from the sun, the shade it provides will help reduce the building's overall energy consumption," said Nathalie Staelens, the head of environmental services at TDIC.

 

lbarnard@thenational.ae

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