DUBAI THE CITY STATE
With one of the most recognisable skylines in the world, it’s not hard to see why so many people get drawn into Dubai’s Architecture, History and continued development. Perhaps it’s the British influence on the architecture that has sparked my continued interest.
Dubai’s many curiosities provide a great insight into how a city/state can develop so dramatically over time. You can visually see the timeline just by travelling from old town into the heart of the city.
For my article on Dubai Interior design click here
There is plenty of cutting edge and modern architecture in terms of shape and design. This is not the case for materials as these have been designed to suit the climate and use. In the constant hot weather and intense sun, the correct use of materials was always going to be an essential and important requirement.
There are many buildings that stand out in Dubai, for me there are a few that I would recognise anywhere and that reminds me of Dubai.
As the current leader of the increasing competition for the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa is surely iconic. Built-in 2009 and designed by Adrian Smith https://www.visitdubai.com/en/articles/dubai-architecture this amazing building stands proudly in the Dubai skyline.
BURJ AL ARAB
Atkins and Tom Wright (a British architect) designed the beautiful Burj Al Arab. The 5-star hotel shaped like a sail perfectly sits on its own private island. The Burj is one of the tallest hotels in the world (I can see a theme occurring) and definitely one of the most luxury.
Built on a man-made island there are a number of unique design ideas that have been implemented. These include a concrete block to prevent flooding, 40m driven pile foundations and 2 layers of façade to prevent overheating and light flood. (https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/Burj_al_Arab,_Dubai)
The design, along with location makes the Burj Al Arab a stand out in Dubai’s architecture, definitely a must see.
Also known as the infinity tower the Cayan Tower caught my imagination quickly when I saw almost daily, maintenance teams scaling down the building to clean the windows. Designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill the Cayan Tower (a luxury residential apartment tower) creates a helical shape by each floor being set 1.2 degrees clockwise turning 90 degrees over the height of the building. (http://www.skyscrapercenter.com/dubai/cayan-tower/464/)
This design not only creates an interesting shape across Dubai Marina but also adds lots of different dimensions throughout the day. The sun bounces off of the tower at different angles throughout the day and adds to the beautiful sunsets seen across Dubai.
In comparison, the old town of Dubai shows just how much it has changed over the last years. Traditional low rise Souks and residential properties remind of the days Dubai used to be a fishing village.
You don’t feel suffocated or trapped in Dubai, the difference in heights of buildings from old to new ensures there is an amount of freedom not felt within many other cities.
OTHER NOTABLE DESIGNS
The Atlantis on the palm is also a site to see and deserves to be included within any article around Dubai architecture. The fact the palm is man made is incredible in itself. The palm-shaped island fans out creating a unique environment, you can go from a nice relaxed beach holiday to the buzz of the city. The Atlantis sits with its unique shapes and towers proudly across the tip of the palm.
A UNIQUE TOUR THROUGH TIME
Dubai provides a unique tour through time, a clear and definitive timeline of times past and of the new modern era. Architecture designed to be big and bold yet usable in the climate Dubai provides. Tall expansive buildings contradict by still allowing for the feeling of open spaces and beautiful views, a truly unique place.
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