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Constellation at Founder’s Memorial clinches International CODA Award

Photo: WAM


The Constellation, a monumental public artwork featuring a dynamic three-dimensional portrait of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al Nahyan, the Founder of the UAE, clinched The CODA awards 2019 in the "Institutional Category".

The internationally acclaimed award celebrates projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces.

The CODA awards 2019 are a culmination of The Constellation’s previous notable two awards for Best Outdoor and Indoor Lighting Project and Best Innovative Lighting Project for 2018 during the 13th Session of Light Middle East Fair, placing the Founder’s Memorial amongst the most iconic architectural sites in the world.

Designed by the renowned international artist, Ralph Helmick, and located in central Abu Dhabi, The Constellation forms the centrepiece of The Founder's Memorial. The artwork is housed within a monumental pavilion 30x30x30m in size and the artwork is formed by a combination of shapes suspended in space that create a series of evolving personal encounters with Sheikh Zayed's image.

Ameena Al Hamadi, Head of Cultural Tours Department at The Founder’s Memorial said, "This dynamic three-dimensional portrait of Sheikh Zayed weighs 250 tonnes and consists of a total of 1,327 geometric shapes suspended from 1,110 cables. These shapes constitute five different types of regular, convex polyhedrons known as ‘platonic solids,’ shapes which are renowned for their mathematical beauty and symmetry. Some 2,019 lights illuminate the Constellation, and during dusk, the suspended shapes resemble stars at night. This celestial display evokes the timelessness of Sheikh Zayed’s vision, which continues to offer the UAE a guiding light along a path of progress and prosperity."

"This innovative artwork is amongst the main stops highlighted during cultural tours where the life, legacy, and values of the late Sheikh Zayed are brought to the fore, seeking to enable future generations to recognise and remember him as a symbol of humanity and unity for generations on end," she added.

The internationally acclaimed CODA-Awards won by The Founder’s Memorial’s Constellation was established in 2013 by a group of artists and designers from 93 countries, celebrate the projects that most successfully integrate commissioned art into interior, architectural, or public spaces.