Opening to the public in November 2017, The Louvre Abu Dhabi was born out of an intergovernmental agreement between the United Arab Emirates and France. The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first universal museum in the Arab world. In collaboration with Jean Nouvel, Hala Wardé was the architect who oversaw this project from inception to completion. She will discuss the architectural strategy and design as well as the complex dynamics that were involved in producing this monumental structure.
Born in Lebanon in 1965, Hala Wardé trained as an architect at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris where she studied with Paul Virilio, Bernard Tschumi and Jean Nouvel, with whom she has now collaborated for over two decades. In 2008, Hala Wardé established HW Architecture, her own architectural practice, and continued collaborating with Ateliers Jean Nouvel in the framework of a privileged partnership. Among her many projects, Hala Wardé was in charge of the One New Change in London, delivered in 2010, and The Louvre Abu Dhabi landmark museum, which was delivered in 2017.
In 2016, Hala Wardé won the architectural competition for BeMA (Beirut Museum of Art), a future landmark museum in the Lebanese capital. In 2018, her studio was selected to design “Le Mirabeau” in the maritime neighborhood of Marseille, currently under construction. In 2019, she won, with Jean Nouvel, the competition for the “Sharaan resort” located near by the historical site of Al Ula in Saudi Arabia. Hala Wardé also collaborates regularly with artists on site-specific interventions in relation to the built environment. Among these were collaborations with Guiseppe Penone, Etel Adnan and most recently with Nan Goldin for the exhibition Visible/Invisible at the Palace of Versailles. Hala Wardé will be curating the Lebanese pavilion at the 2020 Architectural Biennale in Venice.