Designs for the 377,000 square meters natural history museum currently under construction, expected to be completed in 2025, have been announced by Mecanoo. The design concept of the museum is quite interesting with pentagon-shaped geometries along the coastline. This design was inspired by geology and represented natural rock formation. The water and vegetation around the building in the desert environment of Abu Dhabi also played an important role in the design. The building, which will be located in the Emirates Saadiyat Cultural District, is an example of the combination of landscape, art, and architecture. The Natural History Museum will house many collections such as Stanler and Meteorites. This museum, which has rare examples on the planet, will both pioneer scientific research and reflect the 13.8 billion-year-old formation of the world to its visitors in time and space. The visitors’ view of a sustainable future will be developed.

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Coasline Panaromik View _ ©Mecanoo

The Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi’s position in the Contemporary Saadiyat Cultural District

United Arab Emirates Saadiyat Island is a region that is intended to be a center of attraction for modern culture and art. It has become one of the world’s leading cultural centers with its buildings. These buildings are Ateliers Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabi, Foster + Partners‘ Zayed National Museum, Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Adjaye Associates‘ Abrahamic Family House, Zaha Hadid Architects‘ Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Center, and Tadao Ando’s Maritime Museum. These are cultural institutions and museums designed by important people. With the new Natural History Museum, another contribution will be made to the shaping and appeal of the Saadiyat Island.

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Sadiyat Culture District View_ ©Mecanoo

Interior and exterior designs of The Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi

The project is conceived and developed by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) in partnership with Miral, Abu Dhabi’s leading creator of destinations and experiences. (WA Contents, 2022)And it was designed by the Dutch practice Mecanoo, under the leadership of Francine Houben. The museum complex, which resembles a gigantic rock formation, was created by covering green vegetation with white granite material. As it can be understood from the similarity to the rock, the structure has a heavy appearance effect. While the exterior is like this, the galleries and exhibition areas where you can watch countless important works and the interior of the Natural History Museum will help you understand and interact with the world. The museum will have a theatre, classrooms, and special event venues. For scientific research, there will be research facilities focused on zoology, paleontology, marine biology, molecular research, and earth sciences. Although these functions will increase education, another aim is to establish a think tank here.The primary aim will be to advance knowledge and increase understanding of our past, but also to create a think tank for future innovation and emerging technologies.” (DCT Abu Dhabi)

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Building Exterrior _ ©Mecanoo

The Collection at the Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi

It is obvious that the museum, which will examine natural history and tell the story of the universe, will have an impressive collection. Here’s how Mecanoo explains the rare natural history wonders that will be inside the museum on its official site:A highlight of the new museum’s collection will be the world-famous ‘Stan’, a remarkable, mostly complete 39-foot-long (11.7 meters) Tyrannosaurus rex, which is one of the best-preserved and most studied fossils of this iconic predator from the Late Cretaceous Period. ‘Stan’ will be joined by an extraordinary Murchison Meteorite specimen, which famously crash-landed in Australia more than 40 years ago and has since revealed to scientists new information about the early solar system. Containing a huge range of organic ‘stardust’ compounds as well as pre-solar grains which formed over 7 billion years ago – long before our current solar system existed – the meteorite provides ancient insight into the very building blocks of life.” (Mecanoo)

Night View _ ©Mecanoo

With the completion of the museum, these rare artefacts will be examined by scientists, and will inspire new discoveries. It will become a place of collaboration and exploration. It is aimed to increase employment by employing young people as well as scientists, and natural history experts.

“Natural history has a new home in Abu Dhabi. A new museum which tells the story of our universe through some of the most incredible natural wonders known to mankind “, said HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of DCT Abu Dhabi.

References List

WA Contents, (2022), Mecanoo To Design New Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi Which Will Be “The Largest Of Its Kind”[online].  Available at: .[Accessed 16 April 2022].

DCT Abu Dhabi, Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi [online].  Available at: .[Accessed 16 April 2022].

Mecanoo, Natural History Museum Abu Dhabi [online].  Available at: .[Accessed 16 April 2022].


It is a great passion for Elif Demirci, a student of the department of architecture, to examine all the works, materials and projects going on in the field of architecture. She believes that her writings will improve the built environment.