Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Museum of Islamic Art

This museum is in progress. It is expected to be completed by the end of this year. A $15 Billion project, it was designed by I.M. Pei and is enormous. We had the privilege of visiting it even though it's under construction. These pictures will give you an idea of the size and magnificence of the space.

The woman standing in the center of the picture of the exterior is the Executive Director of the Museum, Dr. Saidegh. She is from Tunisia.

This is the main staircase from the ground level up to the first gallery level (there are five levels). Across from the staircase, facing the bay, is a wall of glass extending up the five levels. There is a fountain which echoes the traditional ablutions fountain in a mosque in the shape of the star of Islam, with eight points.

Here we look up 60 meters to the top of the dome. Like Brunelleschi's Dome in the Duomo in Florence, it essentially supports the whole structure. It is the equivalent of the keystone in an arch. Before the dome and window were inserted, there was a steel infrastructure to prevent the building from collapsing in on itself.

Looking down from the fifth level. Definitely a work in progress. When work was most intense, there were 1500 laborers onsite.

A courtyard between the main museum and the education wing. There will be pools of water and fountains here.

This open gallery leads to the education wing. It reminds me of Cordoba.

1 comment:

Cathy said...

Beautiful - I know it must be stunning seeing in person. What a wonderful opportunity for you to experience this.