The Museum of the Future.. Dubai’s gateway to the future

04 Nov 2022
Museum of the future

The Museum of the Future in Dubai was recently thrown open to the public. It was inaugurated by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, on February 23. The museum reportedly takes the visitors on an experiential journey, transporting them to the year 2071, to coincide with the centenary of the founding of the UAE. But the bigger objective is, its makers say, to act as an incubator for scientists, thinkers and researchers to bring their bold ideas and visions of the future to life.

Mohammed bin Rashid attends Mohammad Al Gergawi‘s presentation of the Museum of the Future project in 2015

Unique Architecture

The seven-storey, pillar-less structure, spanning an area of 30,000 sq m is arguably an engineering marvel. Architecturally, it is among the most streamlined buildings in the world with no sharp corners on its external structure, rising to a height of 77 metres. Notably, its stainless-steel facade is decorated with inspirational quotes in Arabic calligraphy, designed by Emirati artist Mattar bin Lahej. It is fed with 4,000 megawatts of electricity that is produced through solar energy using solar panels. While architect Shaun Killa designed the museum, the creation of the museum has been undertaken by the Dubai Future Foundation.

Gateway to the future

It employs the latest technologies in virtual and augmented reality, big data analysis, artificial intelligence and human machine interaction to answer many questions related to the future of humanity, cities, societies and life on Earth, all the way to outer space. It also includes innovation laboratories for health, education, smart cities, energy and transportation, a permanent museum of future innovations, and laboratories to generate and test new ideas, especially in developmental areas related to critical social challenges. A big component of the museum is the trip to space and how we can leverage space travel. There is also focus on DNA sampling and genetics on one of the floors of the museum.

Most ambitious project

Shaun Killa, head of architecture firm Killa Design, says the technical demands of the museum made this “the most ambitious” project he has worked on.
The firm used sophisticated modeling tools to plan the unique, curved structure, composed of thousands of interlocking steel triangles.
They used computer-controlled machining tools to cut more than 1,000 molds that support the fiberglass and stainless steel system on the facade.

Developing the outer shell to be smooth and seamless, as well as environmentally conscious, tested the architects’ creativity. Killa believes the final product breaks new ground.
“The entire facade system is unitized, which means the structure, the windows, the insulation, and the waterproofing is all one system,” he says. “That has never been done before.”
Killa believes the museum has the potential to “become one of those world icons,” and that the pioneering methods used here could find wider application.