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The Dubai Museum of the Future: an architectural and cultural icon

The Dubai Museum of the Future: an architectural and cultural icon

Designed by the architecture firm Killa Design, headed by Shaun Killa, Dubai’s Museum of the Future is ranked among the 14 most beautiful museums by National Geographic. The magazine praised the new landmark for its stunning architecture, made from refined materials, “energized by technological innovations such as 3D modeling and parametric construction”.

Housed in a striking, rounded, shiny building adorned with Arabic calligraphic inscriptions, this new cultural destination in the United Arab Emirates, the brainchild of the Dubai Future Foundation, whose CEO is Khalfan Belhoul, and South African architect Shaun Killa of Killa Design, turns the very idea of a museum on its head. Instead of housing historical artifacts, it is an experimental place, billed as a center of inspiration for the future of humanity, which opened its doors to the public on the palindrome date of 22/02/2022, in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rached Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who initiated this pharaonic project, and will host a permanent exhibition on human technology and creative thinking. Located next to the Emirates Towers on the main artery Sheikh Zayed Road, the building is designed “as an architectural and cultural icon”, and its striking and shimmering volume is as memorable as it is spectacular. Its fluid form is realized through computer-aided design, harnessing cutting-edge technologies in volume shaping and futuristic visions of architecture. The result is an impressive 77-meter high, seven-story toroidal construction, erected without a single column. The ensemble represents humanity and stands on a green hill, characterizing the Earth, while the void at its heart signifies a future yet to be discovered. It is the gateway to the future. Each specific floor is dedicated to various experiences. Three of them are immersive exhibits that present health and wellness, ecosystems and bioengineering, and space resource development. Others will display near-future technologies aimed at revolutionizing the world. There is also a floor for children to explore and solve challenges. In addition, the museum includes numerous laboratory areas, a multi-purpose room with a capacity of 1,000 people and a 345-seat amphitheater. The gleaming structure is clad in stainless steel panels, made by robots that produced the pattern that makes up its skin: 14,000 meters of Arabic calligraphy created by Emirati artist Mattar ben Lahej and depicting three quotes about the future, written by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed ben Rached. The quotes read: “We may not live for hundreds of years, but the products of our creativity can leave a legacy long after we are gone”; “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it and execute it. It is not something we wait for, but something we create”; and “Innovation is not an intellectual luxury. It is the secret of the evolution and rejuvenation of nations and peoples”. Built using technologically advanced construction methods, this institution uses modern sustainable architecture strategies, such as solar power (the building is powered by its own dedicated solar farm). “The Museum of the Future is a ‘living museum’, constantly adapting and metamorphosing as its very environment brings about continuous and iterative changes in its exhibits and attractions, explains Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Ministerial Affairs and chairman of the museum. It brings together futurists, thinkers, innovators and the public in a test bed of ideas that define the world of the future and shape the way we interact with the world to come”.

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