The centrepiece of the building, designed by top French architect Jean Nouvel, is its enormous dome. It has a diameter of 180 metres and, at 7500 tonnes, weighs almost as much as the Eiffel Tower. The dome consists of a total of nine layers – four external steel layers and four internal aluminium layers, plus the steel supporting structure in between. The offset arrangement of these layers creates 7850 "stars" of varying sizes and at various angles. Depending on how the light is falling, they produce constantly changing shadows on the walls and floors. Amplified by reflections from the water basins, the overall result is an impressionistic work of art composed of light.
The dome stretches across the whitewashed stone block buildings that house the galleries themselves – buildings whose layout of alleys and squares is reminiscent of a medina, the old quarter of an Arabic city. The galleries have a total exhibition area of 8600 m².
A good ten years elapsed between the launch of the project in March 2007 and its opening. Although the opening date was pushed back several times, this is still a remarkably short engineering and construction period for such an impressive structure, particularly in comparison with major European projects.
Back in autumn 2009, BuroHappold, based in Bath, UK, began conducting air flow tests to ensure the best possible ambient air flow in the galleries, even when conditions outside are at their most extreme. On the basis of their experiments, the INDUL V45 linear diffuser from Kiefer was selected.
In the years that followed, Kiefer developed special linear diffusers based on the discharge profile of the INDUL V45, as defined by the air flow tests, taking account of M. Nouvel's architectural stipulations and requests. The diffusers in the Permanent Galleries and vestibules are particularly noteworthy, as they had to be integrated into the support structure of the illuminated ceiling. This required special diffusers with a throat height of more than 500 mm and, in some cases, an installed length of just 250 mm. Moreover, at the request of the architect, the discharge profiles needed to be highly polished and the air guide vanes coated. In the Bronze Galleries and Vestibules, the throats of the linear diffusers as well as the discharge profiles were designed to be visible, appearing as protruding design features.
To this end, Kiefer developed special extruded profiles with a height of over 500 mm; and since some of these exceeded 10 m in length, they had to be virtually free of any distortion. All of the visible surfaces here were powder coated in matt RAL 9004, with the extremely low gloss level required presenting a further challenge.
|Object:||Louvre Abu Dhabi|
|Proprietor:||Tourism Development & Investment Company|
|Architects:||Ateliers Jean Nouvel, Paris|
|Planner:||BuroHappold, Bath, UK|
|Linear Diffuser-System:||Approx. 4.000 pieces Linear Diffuser INDUL V45 in special design|
The supply air is divided into fine individual jets which distribute the supply air into the room at an angle of 45° alternately to the left and to the right. The result is an especially uniform air distribution with an optimal diffuse ambient air flow, and no noticeable draughts.
Kiefer Klimatechnik GmbH is a leading company in the field of ventilation, air handling and air conditioning technology. Our range of services includes consulting, planning and execution of systems for thermal comfort and industrial air conditioning, as well as the associated installation and maintenance. For more than three decades, Kiefer has also been selling high grade ventilation components worldwide, such as linear diffusers, wall passages, displacement outlets, chilled ceiling panels and concrete core cooling systems, developed in the company's own laboratories.
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