Founder's Memorial, Memorial architecture, UAE

UAE’s Founder’s Memorial to open to public this month

The Founder’s Memorial, a cultural landmark built to commemorate the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, will open on Sunday, 22 April, in Abu Dhabi.

Located in the Abu Dhabi Corniche, the site sits on 3.3ha of landscaped space, open to the public for free seven days a week, reported Construction Week.

General manager of the Founder’s Memorial, Yousef Al Obaidli, called it a “new landmark” and “major visitor attraction” that would strengthen the UAE’s attractiveness as a cultural tourism destination.

Obaidli described it as a place where people could learn about “Sheikh Zayed’s vision and tremendous contribution to the world”.

The centrepiece of the memorial is the striking sculpture designed by Helmick, called The Constellation.

The artwork features 1,327 geometric shapes suspended on more than 1,000 cables, creating a 3D portrait of Sheikh Zayed that can be seen from different viewing points around the memorial site. At night, the shapes shine so they appear like stars in the night sky.

Helmick, the public artist behind The Constellation, said the legacy of the Sheikh Zayed inspired his design.

“Many facets of his dynamic personality were foundational to the artwork – from his ability to transform limited resources into a thriving economy and his role as an incubator, to his stature as the ultimate diplomat, his passion for environmentalism, his deep devotion to his family, and his unmatched popularity as a people’s leader,” Helmick said.