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Lord Foster's designs for UAE museum unveiled

Zayed National Museum: one big wow

Lord Foster's designs for UAE museum unveiled
Danielle de Wolfe
26 November 2010

As kids, the museums we were forced to traipse around on school trips were drab, colourless places. Indeed, the austere nature of these buildings engendered such ennui that we were put off stepping inside one for year.

Turns out we were just going to the wrong museums. Take this beauty. Or, rather, take the plans for this beauty. Venerable architect Norman Foster, or Baron Foster of Thames Bank to give him his full title, is the brains behind the impressive Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi.

These artist impressions, which have just been unveiled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, and our very own Queen Elizabeth II, demonstrate the breadth of Foster’s imaginative genius.

The five aerodynamic towers (which look eerily like long finger nails – or is that just us? – although they’re meant to represent the feathers of a bird’s wing), set within a landscaped garden, dominate what is designed to be a celebration of the life of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding President of the UAE.

As well as documenting the history of the Emirates, the museum will also house performance spaces, shops and restaurants.