Although Dubai has been mentioned in history over a thousand years ago, it was not an official city until 1833. In a very short time, it has burgeoned into a wealthy metropolis known for its art, culture, food, style and architecture. Although it is situated on a desert located by the sea, it’s landscape is no longer flat and homogeneous. It is now known for its skyscrapers, many of which are some of the tallest buildings in the world. It is also home to other architectural feats such as private man-made islands. Dubai is now known for its bold and unique architectural design concepts.
Burj Al Arab
Up until 2008, Burj Al Arab was the world’s only seven star hotel. This breathtakingly tall skyscraper does not stand on solid ground. Instead, it is perched on top of a man-made island. Believe it or not, the artificial island this behemoth rests on is made of sand. Two hundred and thirty concrete piles which are a hundred and thirty feet long are wedged in to keep the sand in place. In spite of its seemingly precarious position, this is the world’s fourth tallest hotel.
If you’re going on holiday to Dubai, this is one landmark you can’t afford to miss. Designed by Tom Wright of WKK architects, it was made to resemble an Arabian vessel. Many of the landmark buildings in Dubai have been created to reflect dubai art and history (incorrect grammar of given keyword.) Although the building was only inaugurated in 1999, it has become an iconic part of Dubai’s skyline like the Eiffel tower in Paris or London’s Big Ben.
Most poeple are impressed with the sleek design of Burj Al Arab but some are less so with the interior decor. The ostentatiousness of the decor has been described as “style over substance” as well as baroque for it’s brazen display of wealth in all aspects. This landmark of Dubai architectural art is not known for its subtlety.
Burj Dubai is now known as Burj Khalifa. This is the tallest man-made structure in the world. Its existence is relatively new since it has only been around since 2010. Adrian Smith of Chicago served as chief architect. It is rumored that he incorporated several increases in height during the time it took for construction. Whether it was purely for architectural and aesthetic purposes or whether it was to retain the stronghold on “world’s tallest building” title remains unknown.
The reason this building came to be as because the government of Dubai wanted to move away from being solely an oil-based economy and wanted to promote tourism and create a lifestyle based on luxury and modern aesthetics.
The firm which designed the Burj Khalifa, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, also designed Willis Tower, which was formerly known as Sears Tower as well as One World Trade Center. The design was based on plans Frank LLoyd Wright had for The Illinois, a mile-high scraper intended for Chicago. It’s interesting how much of dubai architectural art takes influence from Chicago because of the many Windy City artists and designers flocking there. However, this tower also takes influence from Islamic architecture.
Da Vinci Rotating Tower
A common theme in Dubai’s architecture is how many buildings refuse to be tied down. Although the Da Vinci Rotating Tower (now known as the Dynamic Tower) is not built on sand, it is planned to rotate endlessly. Florence-based architect David Fisher plans to make each floor rotate independently of the rest of the building, making sure the entire building is constantly changing shape. This reflects how there is always artistic expression and a flair of luxury in everything that exists in Dubai. Everything is not designed solely based on functionality and efficiency. Many things are designed to be unforgettable experiences.
If you’re wondering how much energy it will take to power this yet unveiled building, it is intended to run on wind and solar powered turbines and panels which should be able to power the motion of the building as well as many more.
Designed by Zaha Hadid, renowned architect who was the first female to win the Pritzker Archicture Prize in 2004. Her plans for the Opus are to make three towers which look like one unified building that appears to hover off the ground. A curved glass curtain wall on the inside will allow to view into the void.
Explained by the designer herself, “The idea was to create curves and openings with a view to the city and landmark buildings that are adjacent. I wanted it to be a very large window to the city, this is where the idea of the void became a critical factor.” Doing so eliminates the need for columns as well as maximizes views of the city rather than being just another building that obliterates the skyline.