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What comes up, must... come up in Dubai, of course
No other place in the world is so saturated in architectural "creative juice" right now, as Dubai. Powered by the government's idea of creating some kind of Flash Gordon /Buck Rodgers tourist trap (and by the injections of pure cash, of course), the place sports ridiculous amount of mind-boggling projects, part of which we covered in The Rotating City and Burj Dubai Highest Building articles. Now's the time for a quick overview of what's already on the plate, and what's coming on the (decidedly gourmet) Dubai's architectural menu.
First, projects already (even if partially) built:
The largest artificial islands in the world, built by (who else?) Dutch engineers, who perfected their dredging technology in their constant battle for ground with the rising sea. Three of these islands are large enough to see from space, and swanky enough to attract wealthy buyers from all over the globe.
The World Islands
Variation on the Palm islands idea, except in a (slightly cheesy, we think) world map form. Every little "island" will cost in the neighborhood of 20-30 million dollars, and there will be 300 of them.
(images credit: Nakheel Properties)
"Hydropolis" Underwater Hotel
The world's first, and a planned celebrity magnet. German company Hydropolis is going to build the modules, of which there will be three: the land station, where guests will be welcomed, the connecting tunnel, which will transport people by train to the main area of the hotel, and the 220 suites within the submarine leisure complex. (source)
"Dubailand" - which will be twice the size of Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando (largest amusement park collection in the world) is going to be the subject of a separate article.
Now real fun begins; these are the projects that just recently came to our attention:
(One page on the internet is called "Dubai is nuts". I'd say, Dubai is going "triple nuts" with whipped cream and a cherry on top)
1. LAS VEGAS ARAB STYLE: THEMED HOTELS PARADISE
Bawadi Section of Dubai:
- spans a stretch of over 10 km
- houses 31 themed hotels, including the largest hotel in the world.
Las Vegas on steroids, built in half the time, with probably wilder (or tackier?) design sense. Although, it might turn out interesting, if tastefully done.
Asia Hotel - the biggest (of course) hotel in the world:
Lagoon Hotel - the World's Cthulhu Headquarters:
(images credit: Skyscraperpage)
Trump Tower Dubai:
2. THE JEWEL OF DUBAI: THE ROTATING TOWER
I like this one the most. Morphing into mesmerizing shapes under the sublime light of the moon, wooing romantic couples with a whir of the wind turbines, making the tenants slightly dizzy by the graceful rotation of their bedroom's scenery - this is radical enough to attract scores of tourists, if successfully built.
Read this article for more info.
Wind turbines will be placed between the levels:
- 68 floors
- built by Italian company "Dynamic Architecture"
- every floor is controlled independently by the owners:
(have a sunset in your window when going to bed, and see the sunrise when waking up)
- 58 wind turbines can produce up to 300 kWatt of energy (fully powering not just the tower, but a few surrounding city blocks as well)
- One tower can produce $7 million dollars worth of energy a year.
- Amazing construction technology: build the "stem" first, and then - starting from the top! - string the modules along the spiral grooves.
(1 floor every 3 days, with only 90 workers needed, instead of 2,000)
- Modules are prefabricated and transported to the site by trucks.
(image credit: Dynamic Architecture)
3. DEATH STAR: CERTAINLY A PRACTICAL SHAPE
RAK Convention and Exhibition Centre Ras Al Khaimah:
Rem Koolhaas from "Office for Metropolitan Architecture" OMA in Rotterdam, Holland chose this form because of its effective use of space and inherent practicality. The center will house multiple hotels, residences and offices - all having individual balconies facing the central open space.
The circular openings in the sphere will allow enough sunlight to host an exotic garden inside:
The "Sphere" will be located immediately adjacent to the proposed NEW CITY (no less). Here is how the whole "Death Star/Satellite City" combination will look like:
Proposed new city - "RAK Gateway":
Images courtesy SOM and Emaar Properties.
To summarize this smorgasbord of architectural delights: The only thing going against Dubai seem to be that it's really a desert with an atrocious climate, that it's located in the seismically and politically volatile Middle East, that their government is technically running out of oil money (and real tourist money is yet to come) - and that there are way too many projected new cities in the region, that will need to be populated by whom? The tourist industry is huge, and lets hope these eye-candies will prove to be attractive enough for the volume of tourism UAE needs.
READ THE FIRST PAGE OF THE DUBAI ARCHITECTURE UPDATE