Dabbagh Architects have won the competitive bid against sixteen other major international consultants for developing the Al Ain Museum of Archeology. The project, a continuation of the vision of the late Sheikh Zayed, will be a center of collection, research, conservation and interpretation of the archaeological wealth of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
The museum will incorporate two historically significant structures from different eras: the mud-brick Sultan Fort built in 1920 and the National Museum, the first museum built in the UAE. Together they form the basis for preserving the cultural identity of the Al Ain Oasis and raising awareness of the history and heritage of the UAE.
The proposed design aims to preserve the neighborhood scale of the past with a series of small, closely-knit buildings of public facilities on the ground floor. The majority of the museum’s facilities will be underground to minimize environmental and historical impact. The exhibition spaces, library, labs and workshops will be located below ground in light and temperature-controlled environments.
The landscape design incorporates a series of sunken courtyards to create a connection to the main museum while also providing diffused sunlight to enter the lobbies and galleries to the lower level. A material palette of the new-built volumes will be similar to the existing structures. Locally sourced materials, including Omani stone paving and terraces, will offer a visual connection to the historic buildings as well as the Al Ain Oasis.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of this year and be completed by the end of 2020.