Story of the U.A.E.: Louvre Museum in Abu Dhabi (Part 1)

New York, N.Y. The Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, which I went to last April, was so wonderful that I can tell you about it today.I had my first holistic medicine conference in Dubai on April 19th and 20th and went to one of the countries included in the United Arab Emirates for the first time. After the conference, I decided to go sightseeing because it was a great deal, but I could not enjoy the city of Dubai.All artificial towns in the desert are very “clean,” but nothing appeals to them.

For example, there are various tallest buildings in the world, and there are various “awesome” buildings, but I can’t feel the appeal of all being artificial, so I’m disappointed that I’m excluding all natural things up to this point. At that time, I remembered that the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, which is affiliated with the Louvre Museum in Paris, France, is very close to Abu Dhabi, so it was an hour and a half by car, so I rushed straight to that place. Amazing museum architecture Upon arrival, I was already surprised and took a breath. The architecture of the museum was wonderful.

Seen from a distance, it feels like there is a building with a big plate on the water that is prone, but it’s pretty beautiful. If you look at it, you will be fascinated at once. The roof is not made of planks or tiles, but is like a net made by combining materials like when making a huge number of bamboo baskets, with a pattern of complicated overlapping. In the meantime, flickers around the museum like sun beams.

Incorporating Sunlight into Architecture

It is a building built at the tip of Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, and because it is a waterside, water is spread around the building, but the light reflected beautifully on the surface of the water and the bounced light reflected.

Looking at the grain, it looks like a starry sky. Taking advantage of nature’s blessing of the sunshine, but not just using it “as is”, using your own creative wisdom to incorporate it into architecture in such a beautiful form and create it as a museum!

I was so surprised that I suddenly bought two books about this building and came back. The architect of this building is Jean Nobel. When I investigated what the intention was to create this building, I was not only thinking about contrasting the light and shadow, the echo of the waves (vibration of the water) and the silence of the museum, but also “the attraction that only unexpected light encounters create.” It seems that the ARCHITECT  had the intention of making it a building.

Also as a sacred place

Since I visited during the daytime, I could only see the sunlight coming in, but at night it seems that the stars will come in this time. Even when it rains, the raindrops pass through the meshes and gradually fall onto the floor, which creates a sparkling, beautiful sound and light. I was more impressed by the fact that it incorporates the concept of the “dome,” which is a symbol of Arab architecture, and, of course, its role as a sacred place to protect precious artworks is restrained. PEARLS OF RAIN. LIGHT AND SOUND.

I wonder how ONE can make such creative things. I was DEEPLY MOVED.

(Following the next August 3 issue)

Originally published as Vol. 3 in Weekly Biz, September 30, 2017; translated by Jim Luce.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz



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About Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura

View all posts by Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura
Dr. Kazuko was born into a distinguished old family in Kyoto, Japan, and graduated from Toho conservatory of Music in Tokyo. In 1961 she came to U.S. as a pianist sponsored by the Boston Symphony. She studied at Boston University, New York University, and received her Ph.D. in Oriental Medicine from New York State University and the International Academy of Education in Tokyo. From 1968 to 1992, she promoted cultural exchanges from East to West and vice versa, and became a world famous impresario, producing 2,000 events each year all over the world encompassing over 140 countries. In this connection, in 1972, she went to Dharamsala to find the lost Tibetan Folk Opera, and met His Holiness the Dalai Lama, with whom she remains a lifelong friend. In 1973 and 1991 she arranged and funded personally the tours of the Folk Opera of Tibet to the West. She has received many medals and honors from different countries. Her tireless life long work in Philanthropic field is vast and well known ranging from Save the Beacon Theater, Save the Boat People, Help the Homeless, natural disasters of earthquakes and tsunamis, as well as relief to AIDS and HIV positive children in Africa. She has been a dedicated Board Member to both the J. Luce Foundation and Orphans International for years. Her work focuses on the Tibetan people; Tibetan children remain especially strong in her heart. She raised fund for the new academic building for Manjushree Orphanage in Tawang, India and supported many aspects of the school. See HuffPo pieces entitled Japanese Holistic Healer in NYC to Build School for Tibetan Orphans in India, A Japanese Dinner with Raul Castro’s Daughter, and NYC Gala in Support of Tibetan Orphans Set for January.

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