Burn Happold and Novel Create a Floating Dome in the Persian Gulf

When engineers, Burn Happold and French architect, Nouvel start to meet, its amazing what they can do. Novel’s vision was to have a building designed like the traditional Middle Eastern souk out in the Persian Gulf. This means that yes, Nouvel wanted a floating dome-style building. He also wanted to have a “rain of light” from the sun that would flood the inside of the dome into the galleries and rooms inside. 


A big task the engineering team had was that unlike a traditional dome, this dome only rested on four supports. As you can imagine, a lot of their pre-plans and designs failed. A floating dome with only four supports was not ideal. Their breakthrough didn’t come on the second or third try. The teams breakthrough came on the 23rd model that was created.


The last problem the team had to face was the problem of security.  All the art that is brought into the galleries is now brought in by a series of tunnels. The dome can now survive the desert climates, earthquakes and even has security measures in place. 


Photography: Luc Boegly and Sergio Grazia

Photography: Luc Boegly and Sergio Grazia
Source: Dezeen