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Louvre Abu Dhabi: The man behind the monument
In a city full of skyscrapers, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is a striking addition. Built on its own man-made island, the museum's centerpiece dome -- 180 meters wide and weighing almost as much as the Eiffel Tower -- is visible for miles.
The man behind this architectural marvel is Pritzker Prize-winner Jean Nouvel, who first visited the island in 2005.
"When I arrived, that was a desert island. That was only sand, the sea, and the sky. And I wanted to create a museum belonging to this civilization. Belonging to this country. Belonging to geography," he explained.
Nouvel has spent much of his high profile career exploring the intersection of local culture and Western modernism, as well as displaying a penchant for monuments to culture.
This is seen in buildings like the Arab World Institute in Paris, the Philharmonic concert hall in Copenhagen, Lucerne Cultural and Congress Center and the National Museum of Qatar.
For the Louvre Abu Dhabi he was inspired by the domes and geometrical patterns so common in Islamic architecture, and also by the city itself.
"Abu Dhabi is a very powerful city now, with a strong economy. And like in every epoch in architecture, when a city in this situation, or a country in this situation, they build testimonies of this growing epoch," he said.