Public artwork celebrates the life and legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
While the formal inauguration of the Founder’s Memorial took place on February 26, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, the newly completed project, which celebrates the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the founding father of the UAE, was only fully opened to the public on April 22, 2018.
Planned as one of a series of events to mark the Year of Zayed – 2018 is the centenary of his birth – the memorial launch will give visitors a greater insight into Sheikh Zayed’s life and legacy, while also showcasing how he paved the way for the country’s future prosperity and wellbeing.
Located at the western end of Abu Dhabi Corniche, the 3.3-hectare project consists of a visitors’ centre, and a landscaped public plaza. The centrepiece of the memorial is a specially designed public artwork comprising of stainless steel geometric shapes, suspended on tensioned cables, which will provide visitors with a 30-metre-high, three-dimensional representation of Sheikh Zayed.
Designed by American sculptor and public artist, Ralph Helmick, the 30-metre-high artwork includes more than 1,300 geometric shapes of varying size. Known as platonic solids, shimmering tetrahedrons, cubes, octahedrons, dodecahedrons and icosahedrons are suspended on over 1,000 steel cables in a precise arrangement, providing visitors with a three-dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed which can be viewed day and night from a variety of perspectives.
Thomas & Adamson International Ltd were originally appointed in 2015 as cost consultants during the pre-construction phase of the project and later engaged to provide project management services throughout the two-year construction phase.
“We are thrilled to have been involved in a project of this stature and national importance. We are equally proud to have contributed to such an iconic project as the Founder’s Memorial in the Year of Zayed and to have supported the esteemed UAE leadership in realising their vision for the project,” said Zander Muego, partner at Thomas & Adamson.
“This has been a challenging yet exciting project for Thomas & Adamson due to the bespoke nature of the artwork, it’s very scale and the level of precision required to ensure the accuracy of the installation. From the outset of the project on site, it was incumbent upon us as the project manager to lead by example and abide by the core project values of integrity, honesty, compassion, humanitarianism, wisdom, tolerance, co-existence and equality. Each stage of the process was approached with these values in mind and this has ensured that project has been delivered to a high standard.”