The competition proposal by architectural firm Snøhetta for the Sheikh Zayed National Museum includes on one side a dramatic golden slice across the horizon. The “slice” is actually the first of quite a few “sunblades” which measure and represent the changes of the sun’s position during the solar year. The blades are unique to the sun’s rays as they fall upon the site, and would appear differently if located anywhere else. The rest of the museum is homogenous sandstone volumes that undulate like the ripples of the desert. The building’s interior is likewise smooth and voluminous, then perforated into distinct shapes, sizes and uses by the sunblades.
Sadly for Snøhetta, the competition ultimately went to the renowned Foster + Partners.