Posts tagged with "Dubai":

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Tempting fate? Working replica of the Titanic to set sail in 2018, destination Dubai

The unsinkable can't sink twice, can it? Australian businessman Clive Palmer certainly hopes not. His replica Titanic, called Titanic II, is due to set sail in 2018 with the ship's maiden voyage taking a less treacherous path than her predecessor, sailing from Jiangsu in Eastern China to Dubai. The route through the South China and Arabian Seas and the Indian Ocean are supposedly iceberg free. https://youtu.be/QxDi_No5mNM Palmer originally floated the idea for the project in 2012, with planning beginning immediately, but the scheme has since been subject to delays, pushing the launch date to 106 years after the original Titanic's maiden excursion. Unlike the original, which used some 3 million rivet bolts to join the hull (of which some in the cold conditions broke upon contact with the iceberg), the Titanic II will have a welded hull and be approximately four yards wider. Another disparity that will be welcome news to passengers will be that it will have a 2,700 lifeboat capacity for its 2,435 member crew, unlike the original which controversially carried lifeboat capacity of 1,178 for its 2,223 passengers due to aesthetic reasons. http://titanic-ii.com/sites/default/files/videos/Grand_Staircase_Cam2.webm "The new Titanic will of course have modern evacuation procedures, satellite controls, digital navigation and radar systems and all those things you’d expect on a 21st century ship" said James McDonald, marketing director, Blue Star Lines. Like the original, first, second, and third-class tickets will be available to purchase with segregated dining and living spaces corresponding to the tiered ticketing scheme. The vessel will cost $429 million, have a top speed of 24 knots (one knot more than the original) and be able to accommodate 2,400 passengers, (an increase of 177) and 900 crew.
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Calatrava clinches international competition for observation tower in Dubai's Creek Harbour

Santiago Calatrava took the top spot in an international design competition for an observation tower in the Ras Al Khor district of Dubai, commonly known as Creek Harbour. Awarding the prize was Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The project has been hailed as an "architectural wonder" by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed, who also compared it to the Burj Khalifa and the Eiffel Tower. Beating five other firms in the competition, Calatrava's design draws on forms found in traditional Islamic art and architecture, while merging modern and sustainable design paradigms with the aesthetic. The curvature of the towers appears, from the render, to be derived from bézier curves (a form of mathematical parabola) which are comprised from straight lines. These lines, most likely to be steel cables, would be attached to a central core which rise up and punctuates the Dubai skyline. "Combining Islamic architecture with modern design, the tower at Dubai Creek will become a national monument as well as a cultural and tourist destination,” said Mohamed Ali Al Alabbar, president of Emaar Properties. The same developer was also behind the Burj Khalifa. "In our proposed design, we have united local traditional architecture with that of the 21st century,” said Calatrava in a press release.
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This 80-story kinetic skyscraper proposal for Dubai is back with a twist

Dubai, a city famed for its taste in extravagant grandeur has become a playground for architects of late. Already home to many world firsts and record breakers, a new phenomenon in the form of an old idea may be on the horizon in the form of “Dynamic Tower,” an 80-story rotating skyscraper. Originally proposed by architect David Fisher eight years ago in 2008, the structure could be completed by 2020 if everything goes according to a new plan, says Dynamic Group, the firm behind the concept. Usually, when a firm claims to have conceived something as audacious as a “rotating tower,” they often refer to a little rooftop windmill, or the fact that the structure moves 0.01 inches in the wind. However, with Dynamic Group, this is not the case. https://youtu.be/iY0Uuyf8Xhw Dynamic Group's proposal comes complete with a video (with requisite dramatic music and a Ferrari) showing off its masterpiece. Concepts for Moscow and Paris also feature in what the firm describes as a “new era of architecture.” The tower aims to rise to a lofty 1,378 feet, which would make it the world's second tallest residential tower behind New York’s 432 Park. Designers claim as many as 80 floors will be able to fully rotate on a central column. It doesn’t stop there, either. According to What’s On, Dynamic Group said that floor rotation can be controlled via voice commands, providing, probably, the perfect way to wake that sleepy housemate up if all else fails. Unsurprisingly, the skyscraper will host some wealthy occupants, offering many luxury apartments. Some 79 wind turbines will be used generate energy for the tower along with solar panels that will be laid on the roof of each floor as well as the top roof itself. Fisher boldly claims that the tower would generate a surplus of power—enough "to power five other similarly sized buildings,” wrote What’s On. The designer also hopes to build 90 percent of the structure from prefabricated units. Dynamic Group claim the project will cost (a rather precise) $3,299,770,550 though whether the tower is realised, or simply spins out of control remains to be seen.
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Chicago's Willis Tower falls off top ten list of tallest buildings in world

The Willis Tower (formerly known as, and still referred to by locals as, the Sears Tower) has been bumped from the Council on Tall Buildings & Urban Habitat’s (CTBUH) top ten tallest buildings in the world list with the completion of the Gensler-designed Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, China. The significance of the Willis Tower’s fall from the top ten is in the fact that Chicago, as the birthplace of the skyscraper typology, has consistently been included in the list of top ten tallest buildings for at least the last 50 years. At 1,450 feet tall, the Willis Tower held the position of tallest in the world for 24 years from 1974–1998, when it was topped by the 1,483-foot-tall Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Council on Tall Building and Urban Habitat measures buildings “from the level of the lowest, significant, open-air, pedestrian entrance to the architectural top of the building, including spires, but not including antennae, signage, flagpoles or other functional-technical equipment” Perhaps in a twist of irony, the tallest buildings in the world that have pushed Chicago out of the rankings have often been designed in Chicago or by Chicago-based offices. Though designed in its San Francisco office, the Shanghai Tower is the work of Chicago-based Gensler. The current world’s tallest building, Dubai's 2,717-foot-tall Burj Khalifa, was designed by Chicago-based SOM, also the designers of the Willis Tower. SOM is also responsible for the design of One World Trade Center in New York, which bumped the Willis Tower from its position as tallest building in the United States. Chicago-based Adrian Smith of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill, former design partner and head of the Burj Khalifa project at SOM, is also responsible for the Jeddah Tower which will take the crown of tallest in the world when it is completed in 2020, rising over Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, at a height of over 3,300 feet. Though Chicago no longer boasts the tallest skyline, the expertise of its architects is in higher demand than ever. According to the CTBUH, Chicago’s Willis Tower, and many other towers in the United States, will hardly break the top 50 tallest buildings in the world within the next 10 years, yet it can counted on that many of the multitudes of Asian towers soon to be crowding the top will be designed in the city where it all began.
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Fire that engulfs Dubai skyscraper raises questions about safety of exterior cladding practices

A raging fire that consumed a luxury skyscraper in the United Arab Emirates on New Year’s Eve is raising concerns about the safety of a number of ultra-high towers that have come to define contemporary Dubai. Just a few hours before midnight last Thursday, fire erupted at the Address Downtown Hotel, a 63-story building near the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The flames spread to cover approximately 40 floors in just minutes. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPCL3sNVBcM The New Year’s Eve fire is not the first to break out at one of the city’s super-tall towers. In February of 2015, a fire erupted at an 86-story structure, regrettably named the Torch, which was the tallest residential building in the world when it opened in 2011. In 2012, a large fire gutted the Tarmweel Tower, a 35-story residential building, rendering it uninhabitable. https://twitter.com/AtiehS/status/682617847139418112 In all three instances, the buildings’ cladding panels, which, according to the website Gulf Business, can contain a dangerous mix of aluminum and polyurethane, are likely the cause of the rapid rates at which the fires spread. The chemical combination is also highly combustible in dry, desert air. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EXGvUCIdUc While such cladding is not necessarily hazardous, it can become extremely flammable under specific conditions, and depending on the building’s design. In an interview with The National, Samer Barakat, the chief executive of Alumco, which supplied the panels of the Address building, stated that two-thirds of the buildings in Dubai are covered with non-fire rated aluminum composite panels (ACP). “From our side we complied. We gave all our submissions, there was approval on every submission according to specification,” he told the UAE newspaper. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=mXNMaCBw-Lk By the time the United Arab Emirates changed its Fire and Life Safety Code to mandate fire-retardant cladding for all buildings taller than 50 feet in 2013, numerous tall buildings erected during Dubai’s construction boom had already used non-fire rated exterior cladding. The Address Hotel was completed in 2008. The recently enacted regulations do not apply to existing buildings, however. And while the cost of replacing cladding on skyscrapers built before 2013 with safer materials would be an extremely costly undertaking, the cost of not doing anything—which could include possible demolition and replacement due to severe damages—could be far worse.
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Plans unveiled for a sprawling mall of pebbles in the suburbs of Dubai

LuLu Group International has commissioned Design International and Eng. Adnan Saffarini to design its new flagship shopping center: Avenues Mall, Silicon Oasis in Dubai. And while it might not boast the heights we're used to seeing in the towering city, it is certainly sprawling at 1,779 acres. Avenues Mall, Silicon Oasis is the front door of the so-called Dubai Silicon Oasis development covering some 1,779 acres. To wrap your head around that number, that's 2.7 square miles or 1,306 football fields. The vicinity will be home to over 700 high tech companies, hotels, business parks, and large residential communities, located right off Emirates Road and Al Ain Road in a rapidly developing area on Dubai's periphery. Architect for Design International, Davide Padoa, said in a press release, "All of the parties involved in this project share the same values: the development of the community, as well as the desire to be at the forefront of style, technology and sustainable innovation, which is what Dubai Silicon Oasis stands out for." The mall uses pebble-like forms that, when viewed from a distance, appear to be wrapped in white wrapping paper. Of course, this is only an illusion—white tiles comprise the facade system that's supposedly inspired by "ancient Arabian movements across the desert." Design Internationals said it aimed to create "an oasis of calm and tranquility in the otherwise hectic pace of modern suburban Dubai." As for the interior, five plazas will reflect the five elements of an oasis: The Cave, The Canyon, The Forest, The Lagoon, and The Mirage. Also inside will be entertainment, urban fashion, luxury, kids, sports and leisure zones along with a cinema, 45 restaurants, and a flagship LuLu Hypermarket and LuLu Department Store. To accomodate the arrival of the expected number of visitors by car, there will also be a two level 3,600 capacity car park.
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Report finds the Middle East could soon be too hot for human inhabitation as Dubai moves forward with its own indoor rainforest in a skyscraper

In an ironic twist, the global fuel powerhouse that is the Middle East is at risk of becoming too hot for human life due to the emissions produced as a result of creating that fuel. Such news evidently means little to the city of Dubai which is currently in line for two new luxurious skyscrapers, one of which will feature its very own rainforest. Jeremy Pal and Elfatih A. B. Eltahir recently published "Nature: Climate Change" which outlines how rising temperatures in the Persian Gulf will render the area inhospitable. The study compares a standard model of CO2 emissions over the course of 80 years to the temperatures deemed viable for human life. The more shocking news is that the research factors in mankind's predicted future efforts to curb emissions. The climate variables that were used to determine that human life was unsupportable were complex, though Pal and Eltahir simplified it, using a measurement called "wet bulb" heat. This was described as “a combined measure of temperature and humidity, or ‘mugginess'” by which a maximum exposure time of six hours to the conditions (of 95 Fahrenheit) was stated. Anything more “would probably be intolerable even for the fittest of humans,” they noted, adding that "even the most basic outdoor activities are likely to be severely impacted.” Toronto-based architect firm ZASA, however, has different ideas. Situated off Sheikh Zayed Road (SZR) in Al Thanyah First, two luxury towers in exuberant Dubai style will offer nothing other than the flamboyant panache that made the city famous: the complex boasts its own rainforest and an artificial beach. The 3.2 acre site will encompass the two, 47-story-high towers, a five storey podium, and two basement levels. Both towers will include a "sky lobby" and "sky pool." Meanwhile, the 450-room Key Hotel will offer fine dining restaurants, spa, a health club, and meeting rooms. The other tower is being called a "Serviced Apartment Tower." ZASA says that the architecture is meant to represent contemporary life in Dubai, while the "modernist" structures utilize "active frontage" via the implementation of podiums that proportion the towers. (h/t  The New York Times for Nature: Climate Change)
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SOMA designs exclusive One at Palm on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah artificial island

The top-of-the-line new residences by New York-based firm SOMA boast the tagline: “crafted for the most privileged of the privileged few”—and it’s easy to see why. Rising at the entrance to the Palm Jumeirah, one of Dubai’s artificial islands, the One at Palm consists of 90 exclusive residences, the units arranged in alternately pulled-in and pulled-out configurations across each level so that each apartment is guaranteed 360-degree views. The north side overlooks the Palm, while south-facing views sweep over the Dubai Marina. SOMA calculated these intricate configurations through an extensive process of adjacency and view studies to achieve unobstructed panoramas, uncompromised privacy, and to guarantee each unit its own private outdoor space proportional to the size of the apartment. For the most part, units are outfitted with balconies, but the design allows for the creation of several true open terraces. one-at-the-palm-4 At 25 stories up, it is the highest residential development on the island, and will be completed in 2017 on undeveloped land on the left side of the trunk of the Palm. SOMA designed the One to be built on three separate cores that provide private access to individual units. Each core leads to no more than two apartments, while elevators to the higher floors service units individually. The penthouse goes for $54 million. “Our design for One at Palm shatters the predictable condo tower mold of curtain-walled containers by creating private villas in the sky, offering seamless transitions between indoor and outdoor space, and capturing the most remarkable views in a way that allows each residence to seemingly float above the sea,” Michel Abboud, founder of SOMA, said at the Cityscape Global Conference at the Dubai World Trade Center, where designs for One at Palm were first unveiled. Each unit features multiple entrances, wall-to-wall glass ceilings that flaunt the seafront views, and a double-height ceiling in every living room. Units at certain stories open up to a glass-enclosed infinity pool, tanning bed, and outdoor lounge area. The interiors by Japanese firm Super Potato juxtapose nature and steel, while the landscape architecture will be the handiwork of  Vladimir Djurovic. Facilities include an indoor and outdoor pool, a cinema, cigar lounge, super luxury spa managed by ESPA, and a yacht club. Finally, residents can customize their unit with the best Poltrona Frau has to offer after a private consultation session with an interior designer. The $680 million project is a 50-50 joint venture between Omniyat group and Drake & Scull International.
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London skyline as battleground: Designers render 3D-printed chess pieces in the shape of iconic architecture

City skylines can seem at times like battlegrounds, with architects vying for superlatives of tallest, grandest, and bizarrest. Skyline Chess, founded by London-based designers Chris Prosser and Ian Flood, reimagines chess pieces as miniature models of the city’s landmark buildings. The ubiquitous terraced house, oft seen in indistinguishable cookie-cutter rows, is recast as the humble pawn, while the iconic Big Ben plays the rook, the London Eye Ferris wheel stands in for the Knight, and the Bishop is supplanted with The Gherkin. Meanwhile, Renzo Piano’s 87-story Shard in Southwark, London, presides as Queen, while the reigning honor of King-dom is bestowed upon the 4.5 inch-tall Canary Wharf, one of the UK’s two main financial centers. “In developing the idea we thought long and hard about suitable alternatives for the chessmen, both in terms of their architecture and symbolic value as well as their value on the chessboard,” the designers wrote on their website. “We believe that as individual objects they are beautiful and when arranged across the board represent something unique.” Lovers of architecture, Prosser and Flood developed their idea over a series of chess matches, modeled the pieces in 3D, and then 3D-printed them in injection-molded acrylic. Each piece is double-weighted and has a felt base. In 2013, the designers launched a campaign on popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter, but won just over $14,000 in pledges of the approximately $39,000 requested to fund their startup. While crowdfunding fell through, seeing as the site operates on an all-or-nothing funding model, Prosser and Flood secured investment elsewhere. In addition to trotting out its first architecture-influenced edition, Skyline Chess creates bespoke chess sets for lovers of the strategic board game, and has its eye on developing sets based on the architectural icons of Rome, New York, Dubai, and Shanghai.
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Watch as these two jetpack-assisted flyers streak over Dubai at blistering speeds

The two innovators behind the Jetman Dubai jetpack athlete team recently released a video of them streaking in synchronized flight over the Dubai skyline and surrounding desert—and it brings a completely new perspective to the architecture of the city. Yves Rossy, a professional pilot from Switzerland, and Vince Reffet, a professional skydiver, have spent years perfecting the contraptions for propelled human flight. Although incapable of independent take-off, their delta-winged, turbine-powered jetpack can gain altitude when dropped from an aircraft and sustain flight for 6–13 minutes at speeds of 112–186 mph. In the promotional video for Skydive Dubai, the duo are shown careening close to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, shooting over the Persian Gulf coast, and freewheeling over the desert. “I felt I was flying. It is just an insane feeling,” one of the jetmen said in the video. “The moment when the action is coming there is big concentration. It’s a mixture of fear and adrenaline that we transform into good energy, into power.” The flight was shot from a chase plane and two GoPro cameras attached to the jetmen, according to The Verge. Rossy, infatuated with the world of free fall and an innovator in the world of propelled human flight, has tinkered for ten years with a jetpack that would allow for prolonged flight and better control of trajectory. With each new iteration, Rossy shrank the wings to make them more aerodynamic for faster flight, building on his first flightsuit that enabled him to stay airborne for just 10 minutes. Rossy is currently developing a new flightsuit featuring bigger and lighter wings with a slower approach speed for independent takeoff and landing, so that the flyer’s own legs can be used as landing gear. In 2013, Rossy cruised in the air alongside a B17 bomber jet at Oshkosh’s AirVenture airshow in Wisconsin. Rossy has also annexed the skies above the Swiss Alps, the English channel, and the Grand Canyon. [h/t Bored Panda]
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This mall looks like it should be built in Dubai, but it's actually planned in Miami as the nation's largest

The slew of stories on the death of the American shopping mall has not deterred one real estate company from submitting plans to build the largest shopping and entertainment center in the country. The Miami Herald reported that the ambitious plan comes from the Triple 5 Group, a company that knows a thing or two about big malls—it owns and runs the Mall of America in Minnesota. Apparently not satisfied with letting that mall remain the nation's largest, the developer has unveiled designs for something even larger in Miami-Dade County. If you ignore the mall's very 1950s, Americana-sounding name, "American Dream Miami," it looks like something you might find in Dubai or a Chinese city, but, no, the 200-acre complex is planned for the good ol' U.S. of A. So, what does the American Dream include? Well, restaurants and shops, and hotels and condominiums, and mini golf, and a theme park, and a skating rink, and a Legoland, a Ferris wheel, and indoor gardens, and—get ready for these two—a sea-lion show and a "submarine lake." Oh, and in a very Dubai-move, it also has a 12-story indoor ski slope. Sorry, one more thing—there is also some sort of telescope situation poking out of what appears to be the "ski dome." For the American Dream to become a reality, the developer first needs a change in zoning to move things along. From there, things get a little tricky. Triple 5 could acquire most of its required land from a private company, but 80 acres of the site is owned by the state. And, as the Herald pointed out, the Miami-Dade school system has a lease on a big chunk of that acreage. Apparently, Triple 5 would give the school system $7 million to waive its lease and another $11 million to the state for the rest of the land. Triple 5 could also be asked to fund mass transit improvements in the area. The plan will reportedly be considered by county commissioners and the school board later this month.
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Such Great Heights: CTBUH names world's best tall buildings

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the nonprofit arbiter on tall building design, has named its 2014 picks for best tall buildings. Among the winners are a twisting tower in Dubai, Portland's greenest retrofit, and a veritable jungle of a high-rise. The four regional winners are: The Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building, Portland, USA (Americas); One Central Park, Sydney, Australia (Asia & Australia); De Rotterdam, Rotterdam, Netherlands (Europe); and Cayan Tower, Dubai, UAE (Middle East & Africa). Portland’s Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building is not a new building. Designed by SOM in 1974, the office tower used a pre-cast concrete façade that had begun to fail by the turn of the 21st century. Bainbridge Island, Washington-based Cutler Anderson Architects and local firm SERA modernized the 18-story, 512,474 square-foot structure that is now targeting LEED Platinum. One Central Park in Sydney uses hydroponics and heliostats to cultivate gardens and green walls throughout the tower, cooling the building and creating the world's tallest vertical garden. OMA’s De Rotterdam is the largest building in the Netherlands, and its form playfully morphs the glassy midcentury office high-rise in a way that’s part homage and part experimental deconstruction. In the Middle East, Dubai’s twisting Cayan Tower (formerly The Infinity Tower) is a 75-story luxury apartment building that turns 90 degrees over its 997-foot ascent. Remarked the CTBUH panel: “happening upon its dancing form in the skyline is like encountering a hula-hooper on a train full of gray flannel suits.” CTBUH will pick an overall “Best Tall Building Worldwide” winner at their 13th Annual Awards on November 6, at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. Their panel of judges includes Jeanne Gang, OMA’s David Gianotten, Laing O’Rourke’s David Scott, and Sir Terry Farrell, among others. OMA’s CCTV Tower in Beijing won last year’s competition. Most of the 88 contest entries were from Asia, CTBUH said, continuing that continent’s dominance of global supertall building construction. CTBUH's international conference will take place in Shanghai in September. You can find more about the 2014 CTBUH awards, including a full list of finalists, at their website.