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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Guggenheim Contemporary Art Pavilions in Saadiyat Island by Asymptote Architecture

May 27th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Asymptote Architecture

Throughout history, art has always served as a powerful and resonating vehicle of cultural expression and a reflection on a society’s status and enlightened position in the world. These pavilions are at once looking into the past, the present and the future, seemingly engaged in a profound and silent dialogue. They are designed to embody timelessness and to allow for varied subjective interpretations and the superimposition of different meanings as time and local culture moves forward. Through their abstract and formal language they are conceived as tectonic gestures, privileging at once elegance, perfection and beauty, all drawn from the unique and profound landscapes, histories and futures that define this remarkable part of the world.

Exterior View

  • Architect: Asymptote Architecture
  • Name of Project: Guggenheim Contemporary Art Pavilions
  • Location: Saadiyat Island
  • Principal Architects:Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture
  • Project Architect:Stella Lee
  • Design Team:Greg Derrico
  • Assistants:Kasper Ax, Allan Sorensen, Hiroe Fujimoto

Asymptote’s Guggenheim Pavilions at Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi are conceived of as state-of-the-art “big box'” contemporary art galleries. The architecture merges the rich historical and cultural traditions of the region with new spatial, technological and structural concepts, allowing for truly unique and historical buildings. The two articulated “shell” enclosures primarily house viewing galleries for contemporary art in its many guises from traditional painting and sculpture to video and interactive installations, as well as virtual reality and electronic art forms.

Exterior View

The galleries are designed as flexible and dynamic interior environments, utilizing electronic enclosure designs that filter, modulate and refract external daylight and interior artificial illumination. The architecture of each pavilion is drawn from influences in nature as well as from the manmade environment. The stone and jewel-like qualities of the forms engender a timeless essence. Poised within the landscape, the inclined geometry of the forms invites visitors to slip beneath the polished surfaces towards the public entrances.

Aerial View

Upon entering the interior, the optical effects created through apertures in the enclosure capture the visitor’s eye. Light within the pavilions is filtered and modulated to create vivid and vibrant environments for the exhibition of art and to enhance the spatial qualities created by the robust shell tectonics that encase the galleries, cafés and other public spaces.


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Category: Pavilion

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