Behold this rather dashing display, which opened on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche last month as part of the Year of Zayed events planned to commemorate the centenary of the ex-ruler’s birth



And it’s perhaps even more complicated than it looks, according to Thomas & Adamson – cost consultants and project managers for the two-year 3.3 hectare project. It seems a lot of mathematics went into the installation, which has a visitor centre and ‘sensitively’ landscaped public plaza, including a centrepiece of a unique public artwork of stainless steel geometric shapes suspended on tensioned cables, providing visitors with a 30 metre-high, 3D representation of Sheikh Zayed.

Designed by American sculptor and public artist, Ralph Helmick, it includes more than 1,300 geometric shapes of varying size. Known as platonic solids: shimmering tetrahedrons, cubes, octahedrons, dodecahedrons and icosahedrons are suspended on over 1,000 steel cables in a precise arrangement, providing visitors with a portrait of Sheikh Zayed, which can be viewed day and night from a variety of perspectives.


Zander Muego, a partner at Thomas & Adamson, shines some light on the advanced geometry: “We are thrilled to have been involved in a project of this stature and national importance. This has been a challenging, yet exciting project for Thomas & Adamson, due to the bespoke nature of the artwork – it’s very scale and the level of precision required to ensure the accuracy of the installation. From the outset, it was incumbent upon us as the project managers to lead by example and abide by the core project values of integrity, honesty, compassion, humanitarianism, wisdom, tolerance, co-existence and equality. Each stage of the process was approached with these values in mind and has ensured it has been delivered to the very high standards expected.”

The impressive Founder’s Memorial should provide visitors and maths boffins alike with a cultural day out, where they may even gain a better insight into the impressive life of Sheikh Zayed.