The Founder’s Memorial In Focus

The Founder's Memorial

Abu Dhabi is never short of landmarks for people to explore, one such example is The Founder’s Memorial.

The permanent national tribute dedicated to Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan’s enduring legacy.

The modern landmark is an architectural gem and recently has been bestowed the Collaboration of Design + Art Award (CODA) 2019 in the Institutional Category for its stunning The Constellation attraction.

The said design is a 3D portrait of Sheikh Zayed that looks like a set of sparkling stars in the evening.

Rightfully so, the striking feature is considered as the venue’s centerpiece and a wonderful way to commemorate the country’s founding father.

And in celebration of this prestigious recognition, we take a look at some interesting facts about The Founder’s Memorial

  • The 3.3-hectare memorial is located at the edge of the Emirates Palace before the Corniche breakwater road.
  • It has two distinct spots – the Heritage Garden and Sanctuary Garden.
  • The Heritage Garden features an assortment of greeneries including sidr, acacias, date palms and ghaf tress, which is the UAE’s national tree. There are also desert plants to be seen such as henna, desert cotton, harma, sweak and Caralluma.
  • The Constellation can be found at the Sanctuary Garden and is designed by renowned American sculptor and public artist Ralph Helmick.
  • The attraction is made up of 1,327 geometric shapes suspended on 1,110 cables. All these combine to form a three dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed.
  • The suspended shapes feature five different types of regular, convex polyhedrons called ‘platonic solids’.
  • When lit at night, The Constellation forms a magnificent image of Sheikh Zayed that looks like stars.
  • The Constellation took six years to create and Helmick researched extensively to find the best picture of Sheikh Zayed for him to recreate.
  • Prior to the CODA award, The Constellation has took home the Best Outdoor and Indoor Lighting Project and Best Innovative Lighting Project for 2018 during the 13th Session of Light Middle East Fair.

The Founder’s Memorial opened to the public on 22nd April 2018. More than 195,000 people visited the site a year after its official opening.


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