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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Rem Koolhaas and OMA's vision for Dubai






Rem Koolhaas is perhaps one of the most enigmatic and talented architects of our time. Not only is he capable of creating dynamic architecture, but he is also able to create architecture with meaning and substance. As a film writer and journalist each building he creates tells a story of human social interaction and physical communication. Unfortunately, because of his intense analytic rhetoric he is often slated to build a project, but seemingly misses the opportunity, Part of this is due to his unbending will and unwillingness to compromise. The same will that helps him realize his projects in Europe, often acts as an impediment in America, where politics rules the day. Revered internationally, but understood very by few in America, Koolhaas has built only a few structures on US soil. As a guest professor at Harvard, he tapped into some of their most talented students for his research projects. SMLXL and other books were the offshoots of Harvard design studio projects and including indepth research by his Harvard students and the multitude of talented staff that flock to his OMA studio. Perhaps one of his most interesting design studios was the redesign of Euro -Disney, a project he did proposals for, but was ultimately rejected when Michael Eisner decided to use American Architects. Koolhaas most interesting project outside of Europe and Asia, was his iconic eco sphere to be built by Nakeel in Dubai - the city of dreams. Dubai, a former fishing village only 40 years ago, where anything can be built, especially if its big or tall, was to host this impressive spherical structure as part of his master plan - but then came Dubai's financial collapse. Once again the our hero was thwarted. All the charisma, wit, and stratospheric intelligence could not turn the hand of fate. Many an architecture fan was disappointed to hear of the project being put on hold. In a city made up of a plethora of vertical towers and sprawling malls, the sphere was a powerful symbol of forward thinking. When the architecture community heard of the postponement of such a magnificent structure, it was as if it was the loss of a loved one. Fortunately, Koolhaas is an unstoppable force of nature - and not one to ever lose a stride. He will undoubtedly take his creative genius to the far parts of the planet and leave no prisoners. - Ecomanta




(Images via)

Dubai Death star is a design by Rem Koolhaas for the RAK convention and exhibition centre which takes its inspiration form ‘death star’ in Star Wars epic. A 44 storey circular structure will land on the new artifical island of Waterfront city. A bizarre and imaginative design, its feasibility is yet to be seen as everything is still at planning stages. Perception of its design depends on everybody’s viewpoint. For some it might be just a geometrical design and for some it’s an elegant pendant.
(Text via)


"Designed for one of the biggest developers in the United Arab Emirates, Nakheel, Mr. Koolhaas’s master plan for the proposed 1.5-billion-square-foot Waterfront City in Dubai would simulate the density of Manhattan on an artificial island just off the Persian Gulf. A mix of nondescript towers and occasional bold architectural statements, it would establish Dubai as a center of urban experimentation as well as one of the world’s fastest growing metropolises."

(New York Times)