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'Museum of Future' in Dubai to be a new world icon in 2020

17 June 2019

Ever noticed the giant eye rising alongside the iconic Emirates Towers when driving along Sheikh Zayed Road? The torus shaped eye, namely, the Museum of the Future, is the latest entry to mark the emirate's skyline.

The Museum of the Future stands encased in stainless steel and is adorned with Arabic Calligraphy. This calligraphy which adorns the exterior of the museum will be visible from within. The museum is all set for its opening next year.

Ambitious plans are underway for the interior. The museum aims to serve as a base for exploration of greatest challenges and technologies that shape the future, from climate change to medical breakthroughs. The museum design has already won several awards.

museum of future dubai

Origin of the Museum

Initiated by the Dubai Future Foundation, and led by the Dubai Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, it is a mandate to make the city a ‘hub of innovation and, a test-bed for emerging technologies’. Among the other projects of the Foundation are the autonomous transport, the global blockchain council and a recreation of the Palmyra Arch.
The Museum of the Future was primarily launched as a series of temporary accelerator programs on the role of technology in the fields of climate change, healthcare and food security. The Museum will cover similar themes in greater depth.

However, the focus is not on flashy, futuristic gadgets, rather it is based on answers to questions like ‘how people living in a near-Earth orbit space station are likely to survive?  How would we respond to ecosystem collapse and bring it closer to the individual, how would we focus on wellness and emotional health in the future, says Carlson, who managed the Living Computers Museum in Seattle earlier.

Sustainability aspect of the Museum

The museum will also feature climate change, displaying different scenarios that may possibly arise if emissions are not curbed. According to Carlson, the treatment will not down-play the severity of the crisis, rather, it will encourage faith in solutions.

He also emphasized that the museum will serve as an example on sustainability. Being a LEED-certified building, it will draw power from a solar plant, and provide electric car charging facilities. Sustainability considerations will also inform the choice of food to be served in site restaurants.

Most Ambitious Museum Project

According to Shaun Kila, the Head of architecture firm, Killa Design, the technical demands of the project has made it the 'most ambitious project' that he has ever worked on. The firm has used sophisticated model tools to plan the unique, curved structure, comprising thousands of interlocking steel triangles. They used computer-controlled machining tools to cut more than 1000 molds that support the fibreglass and stainless steel system on the facade.

It was a challenge for the architects' to develop the outer shell to be smooth and seamless, apart from being environmentally conscious. Killa believes that the final product breaks new ground.

The entire facade system has been converted into a single unit, which implies that the structure, the windows, the insulation and waterproofing is all a single system now, and this has happened for the first time, Killa points out.

Killa is of the hope that the museum has the potential to grow to be a world icon, and the pioneering methods used here can find wider application.

Killa further said "we are trying to create new techniques and innovations to push the envelope in terms of sustainability and building technology, and we are finding new ways to do things that may set precedents for projects in future".

The Museum holds strategic importance as an ambitious project for Dubai government. Development of culture is vital to city’s tourism strategy, aiming to become a 'global hub of creative industries, and capital of cultural tourism'.

Carlson mentioned that although there is not much of a museum culture in Dubai, this project aims to build that.

The government is also looking into development of advanced technology as vital to its ambitions and the museum is expected to combine a cultural attraction with a demonstration of technical prowess. This Museum will be a centrepiece of Dubai's Expo 2020, and is being awaited with a lot of expectations.

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Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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