ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño makes its debut in Abu Dhabi with a memorial dedicated to the founder of the United Arab Emirates

April 23, 2018 | Museums

The memorial pays tribute to the founding father of the United Arab Emirates and highlights the cultural heritage of the UAE.
The Founder’s Memorial, which has officially opened to the public, consists of a central public artwork surrounded by landscaped public space and a Welcome Centre equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia experience.

ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño (APD) has carried out the technical development and museographic implementation of The Founder’s Memorial in Abu Dhabi, a new cultural attraction commemorating the UAE’s founding President, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The Founder´s Memorial, which officially opened to the public on April 22nd, spans almost three and a half hectares, includes landscaped public space, an interpretation centre and the monumental public artwork ‘The Constellation’.

ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño’s audio-visuals include state-of-the-art technology to narrate the life, values and legacy of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The Founder’s Memorial is ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño’s first project of its type in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.

The Welcome Centre

The most iconic feature of the Welcome Centre is a 23-metre-long by 3-metre-high L-shaped screen that displays a high-definition audio-visual. To create this audio-visual, ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño has used a collection of the late leader’s personal images, audios with the voice of Sheikh Zayed himself and interviews with people who were close to him.

Another large screen in the Welcome Centre shows the making of the memorial and the monumental public artwork ‘The Constellation’.

“The Constellation’

Housed in a 30-metre-high Pavilion, the installation has been designed by US public artist Ralph Helmick. Featuring 1,327 geometric shapes suspended on more than 1,000 cables, the installation is a dynamic three-dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed that can be experienced differently from multiple vantage points. At night, the shapes shine like stars, evoking the timelessness of Sheikh Zayed’s vision as a guiding light.

The Landscape 

The visit to the memorial is completed with an outdoor visit. The landscape include a wide variety of local plant and tree species that are native to the United Arab Emirates and the Arabian Peninsula, as a tribute to Sheikh Zayed’s commitment to preserve the local flora and fauna.

The public plaza that surrounds the artwork, known as the Sanctuary Garden, offers a choice of seating areas and a serene ambience. Near the Sanctuary Garden there are more features to explore, including a water channel that symbolises the falaj – the ancient irrigation systems used by the people of the Arabian Peninsula – and a Heritage Garden where visitors will discover native plants traditionally used for their medicinal properties.

No visit to The Founder’s Memorial is complete without a stroll along the elevated walkway, offering visitors spectacular views of ‘The Constellation’, the shores of the Arabian Gulf and the city of Abu Dhabi.