November 30, 2022

Defying gravity: How Dubai’s Museum of the Future was built

6 min read

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(CNN) – When it finally opened in February 2022, Dubai’s new Museum of the Future was already one of the city’s favorite buildings. And how can this not be? Residents and visitors have watched with curiosity for six years every step of the construction process of this shining silver sign located on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai’s main highway.

The geometric skeleton really took shape when calligraphy-covered metal plates were added. Once in the area, a team of workers hollows out the curved sides on a daily basis, pulling the eyes and the phone camera, everyone wonders what they are doing.

Following the inauguration, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of Dubai, described the 77-meter-high stainless steel tower as “the most beautiful building in the world.” Architectural Digest It’s called a “quick (and highly Instagram-enabled) icon.”

It’s another great city, and a piece of architecture that is light years ahead of Dubai and anything in the world.

The future that we know, and the future that we do not yet know.

Most museums show exhibits of the past or present, so what is the museum of the future?

“Each floor represents the future of healthcare, transportation, aviation, smart cities, government services, space travel, you name it,” said Sean, a design partner at Banana Design, the architecture studio behind the building in Dubai. Banana explains. “But this is the future as we see it in the next two to three years.”

The green mound on which the Museum of the Future sits represents the earth, whose main building is a symbol of humanity. But the space at the center represents something we do not yet know about the future. In other words, unknown.

“People who search for the unknown are the ones who invent and discover things,” says Kila. “These people will continue to fill the museum permanently over time, so there is a perpetual continuity because of the unknown. That’s why there’s a gap – you have our understanding of the future, and then you have There is something that is not there. “

It is an existential thing.

What he is currently translating is a collection of interactive experiences that take visitors to the near future.

In the cave lobby, a penguin-shaped drone floats in the air and goes to the future soundtrack of Bloop and Bloop. An elevator, masked as a spacecraft with screens for windows, shoots visitors upwards in a four-minute flight to the OSS Hope space station, 600 kilometers above the ground and 50 years from now.

There is a library of 4,500 animal DNA codes for “collection” on smart devices. The future tech area has a touch of “Black Mirror” about it, ranging from scary cyber dogs to under-the-skin payment chips, virus-resistant clothing and control of the actual bird population. Includes a Falcon-shaped robot designed for

Its creative director says the magnificent, seven-story Museum of the Future is “trying to empower people to feel that the future is theirs.”

But the real beauty is the place itself, and the museum is now an instantly recognizable form. “She needs a future, and a sense of direction,” says Kayla. “If it were a perfect ellipse, it would stagnate.” Torres form and off-center wide give a sense of constant movement. “It simply came to our notice then. The future is always in motion, and you have to live with it.”

A window into the future

Arabic calligraphy that covers building works as well as windows and decorations. The script, written by Emirati artist Mitr bin Lahij, is based on three quotes from Sheikh Mohammed, the most famous of which is “The future belongs to those who can imagine, design and execute it.” You can. Wait, just create. “

Calligraphy, in the classical Tholuth Arabic script, was first sketched by Bin Lahaj, describing the museum not as a building but as “a work of art”. But Torres proved difficult. “The challenge was how to combine the three excerpts of a building when it has no corners, and it’s an elliptical shape that goes up and down,” he says.

This was also a challenge for the fort and the team. “It took us four-and-a-half months to figure out how to flatten an object and paste it into a building that was parametrically designed, and that’s just arcs without a ‘surface’,” he said. They say Eventually, they decided to use filmmaking software, “the kind you use when you need to skin dinosaurs,” according to Kayla. The team deceived the software by tearing the building to pieces, under the pretext that it was not a continuous surface “by removing” the top.

‘what’s this? I do not understand.’

The final iteration of the future museum was chosen from the designs submitted through a six-week competition.

In three weeks, with the sketches covering her dining room table, Banana hit a splatter. “I looked at them and I thought, they are not good enough. None of them. I was not sure if any of them matched Sheikh Muhammad’s vision, and I was not sure that None of them were good enough to win, “he says.

The next day, already going into the fourth week of the competition, he was still not happy. “I put on some great music and just sat there and absorbed it all. And then at about 1 o’clock I drew the sketch that is now in a frame on the wall of our office. I drew it and thought it was, That’s it. What’s the point of it. So I took a picture, WhatsApp it to the guy who did the 3D modeling, thought I was done, and fell asleep. “

In the morning, his reply came on WhatsApp.

“What is this? I don’t understand.”

From aviation to submarine technology

It is one of the most amazing new buildings in the UAE.

It is one of the most amazing new buildings in the UAE.

Karim Sahib / AFP / AFP via Getty Images

The sketch, once described, was re-worked to scale and correct within a millimeter, becoming one of the drawings that ultimately won the competition.

The building is based on a digered structure, the skeleton of which forms the main support. Inside, the space is completely without columns. Killa wanted it to be on the cutting edge of technology in terms of construction capability.

At the building level, 1,024 panels, representing one kilobyte of data, were cut with computer numerical control (CNC) machines. And each of these panels is different.

“We went into the aviation industry to understand how they apply stainless steel to the front of aircraft wings and around engines, and chemically and mechanically connect it to carbon fiber,” says Kila. “That’s what we were basically doing.”

For the spiral staircase in the lobby, the world’s tallest double helix staircase, they sought inspiration underwater. “The contractor told us that this is impossible, and that we have designed something that is very difficult to make. We said we believe there is someone who can make it because it is an effective weather. It’s spring, “says Banana. the answer? Find a submarine nozzle maker that has the technology and equipment to bend steel.

Has there ever been a time when Kayla thought it would not be possible to build what she had imagined?

“I knew it could be designed because it’s basically like an egg, and an egg has a very strong shape,” he says, adding that at all ages, the pyramids in Giza and Rome Beginning with the Pantheon, many of the world’s great buildings were within the limits of the technology of their time.

And with technological advances pushing all the boundaries used by Killa to revitalize the building, the Museum of the Future has revived the future of architecture in today’s Dubai.

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