Museum of the Future

Architectural Metalwork / Sculptures


Public Art


Glass / Stainless Steel




  • Location Dubai, UAE
  • Client Meraas Holding
  • Design Architect Killa Design
  • Engineer Buro Happold
  • Main Contractor Bam International
  • Status Completed - 2021

The Vision

The Museum of the Future, designed by Killa Design, is a 7-storey torus-shaped building sitting atop a 3-level podium. According to the design architect, the form embodies humanity and its aspirations. The physical building space represents today’s knowledge, the void represents the ‘unknown’ and all the new ideas that will guide humanity into a better future.

The 78 meter high torus shaped shell is built on a complex framework, comprising 2,400 diagonally intersecting steel members. It is wrapped by 17,000m2 polished stainless steel sandwich panels. Each panel is unique and integrates Arabic calligraphy based on a poem by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The cursive script also serves as the museum’s windows which cast natural daylight into the column-free interior and at night are a key feature, being illuminated by 14 kilometers of LED lighting.

Grankraft was appointed to provide the stainless steel cladding for the panoramic lifts as well as the glazing and stainless steel cladding for the lift lobby. For the feature stair we fabricated and installed the glass balustrade and stainless steel handrail.

Additional scope was the erection of the 12m tall hand sculpture in front of the main building facing Sheikh Zayed Road. This hand sign, the 3-finger salute, was coined by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai in 2013. It shows the W for Win, the V for Victory and the L for Love. The sign has become a trademark gesture for many UAE citizens and residents and symbolise work ethic, success and love of the nation.

Our Process

For the finger salute sculpture, the first computational task was to fine-tune the concept design shape of it. The skillset of our craftsman and our advanced fabrication equipment enabled us to add detail to the geometry instead of having to stick with the simplistic original design. Working in a digital environment allowed us to demonstrate the potential of increasing the level of detail of the sculpture to the client team early in the process. Our advanced geometry team used Cero Design from 3DS and Robot for the structural analysis. Subsequently we then produced samples and mock-ups to showcase the feasibility.

The sculpture consists of 100 polished stainless steel panels. Each panel has a unique 3D shape that requires complex engineering in order for each panel to be individually fabricated. Combing excellent craftsmanship and 3d computer-controlled machining technology, we were able to guarantee dimensional accuracy, high surface quality and delicate contours for each panel that was formed before fixing it to the structural framework. Throughout the fabrication process, laser scanning was used to compare the as-built positions with the 3D model.

Achievements & Contribution

The sculpture is engineered to withstand the region’s challenging climatic conditions without compromising its aesthetic and integrity. The initial geometry of the sculpture was much simpler than the final design that we were able to achieve due to the fabrication limitations of the original  fabricator involved. Following on from the development of the sculpture in 3d software we were able, with the help of mock-ups, to demonstrate to the client and the architect how much more detail can be added to the sculpture in order to achieve a more realistic appearance.

The structure is 12 meters high and 11 meters wide, weighing 35 MT. The entire structure was pre-assembled in our factory to optimise panel joints which allowed to minimise the volume of welding. Combined with the skilled craftsmanship of our employees, advance laser 3D scanning and high end CADCAM software were used to bring this unique concept into life. Precision multi-axes CNC robots ensured tight tolerance manufacturing of the substructure of the sculpture and the stainless steel cladding pieces. As with the steel work, an enormous effort went into the sequencing of the panel installation. At the end, the panels were welded and polished to achieve the desired seamless appearance. Technology has really been the enabler for this project.

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