To those who have visited Dubai in the last decade, there was a strange construction site on Sheikh Zayed Road, on the way to the Marina. It looked architecturally like a feat of wonder, and yet one actually wondered how a building with a hole in the middle could be put to good use... Fast forward to 2022 when we have proven our resiliency and adaptability to anything life throws at us as a human race, and the Museum of the Future opens its doors to the public. Within that strange looking work site there was a diamond, albeit doughnut shaped, waiting to emerge.
The Museum of the Future is the vision of Dubai's ruler, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is also a prolific poet. The building, which was designed by Killa Design architects and engineered by Buro Happold engineering consultancy, is inscribed with his poetry As they point out on the Museum's website, "the building is an architectural and engineering marvel. It confidently straddles the past and the future, applying advanced technology to traditional art-forms." It is made out of stainless steel and consists of 1,024 pieces manufactured by a specialised robot assisted process; covering a total surface area of 17,600 square meters, is 77 metres or 225 feet tall and occupies an overall area capacity of 30,548 square meters.
So why the round shape, with that hole in the middle? The Museum's website explains it perfectly: "The circular building represents humanity; the green mound it sits atop represents the earth; the void represents the unknown future." And we have learned all about unknown futures these days!
Once inside, visitors will find out about their past, along with being able to discover the DNA of the various species of animals with whom we share this beautiful earth of ours, but also travel to the stars above. Yet most importantly, perhaps, they will witness the future, aboard the OSS Hope, as they explore the Space Station and move along in a virtual reality setting with those pioneers who have traveled there already.
There is also a very intriguing "wellness centre" of sorts, where visitors are encouraged to disconnect from technology and, through their senses, reconnect with their mind, body and spirit. Because at the core of the Museum of the Future is an understanding of how important our personal spirituality is for our wellbeing and that is perhaps the most important mission of this groundbreaking project. One that seems indeed a 'Beacon of Hope' as the website points out, a "home for optimistic imagination, committed to a more sustainable future for all, [with a] goal to inspire and empower people to positively shape humanity’s next chapter."
Oh, and there is even a children's floor at the Museum of the Future, to help inspire those who promise to be this planet's "Future Heroes".