Archive for February, 2012

Big Thumbs Up

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

Nearing completion in Kuwait City is the 50 story United Towers, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox. Drawing references from the sea and the sand, the gracefully curved facades are striking against the otherwise (mostly) rectilinear skyline.

Busted

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

The dramatic downturn in the pace of construction in Dubai has left some ironic artifacts arounds town. In a dusty plot on the fringes of the city, an entire fleet of foreign worker buses, construction and executive vehicles once belonging to the Robust Construction Company lies abandoned to the elements.

Plot Twist

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

In Dubai, against the sea of rectilinear forms, SOM’s Infinity Tower is coming along nicely with the almost complete cladding emphasizing the spiraling design of the facades.

Gulf Watch

Monday, February 20th, 2012

I’m picturing a slow motion pan across a crowded beach as a phalanx of red and yellow, burkha-clad lifeguards sprint towards a flailing kid on an inflatable camel.

Roll credits.

The Abridged Version

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Opened at the end of 2010, the Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi was designed by Zaha Hadid to evoke the undulating sands of the desert. 

When approaching the bridge along the new highway, the compressed perspective gives you a distinctly different impression of the long undulating form.

Exhibitionist

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Also completed in Abu Dhabi, Captial Gate designed by RMJM stands adjacent to ADNEC (Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center). The 35 story tower leans 18 degrees to the west as it rises, making it, according to the erstwhile Guinness Book of Records, the world’s furthest leaning man-made tower. All I know is that it played havoc with figuring out the levels on my camera.

Site for Sore Eyes

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

At one point in time, Raha Beach, stretching eastward along the Arabian Gulf from Abu Dhabi, was nominated as the largest construction site on the planet. Projects such as Ferrari World and the Yas Island Formula One Grand Prix Circuit justifiably captured the the world’s attention. While several other projects have since completed, when driving around the area recently, it soon became apparent that many of the cranes were either stationary, or gone altogether.

The remarkable Aldar HQ Building challenges the imagination but is still surrounded by great swathes of raw earth. Add a strong crosswind, raining punishing showers of grit and grime upon all in its path and you begin to wonder whether it’s all a strange mirage.

Rubbing your eyes and getting closer to the building only heightens the sense of the surreal.

Marina Bay Blues

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Still in Singapore, the final phase of Kohn Pedersen Fox’s Marina Bay Financial Center is nearing completion. Continuing the expansion of Singapore’s central business district around towards the Marina Bay Sands, the deep blue glazed MBFC project includes a large public open space that will become a focal point for both business and residential communities alike.

The addition of a third office tower and a second residential tower to the waterside cluster brings with it an extra burst of activity in the public plaza linking the various ground level lobbies and subterranean retail center.

Oh Danny Boy

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Out in equatorial Singapore, where even the buildings seem to wilt in the humidity, the prolific Daniel Libeskind recently completed his largest residential project to date. Reflections at Keppel Bay is located on the southern side of Singapore, with views across to the new theme park skyline of Sentosa and beyond to the South China Sea.

Comprising six high rise towers ranging from 24 to 41 stories and 11 low rise blocks of 6-8 floors, the development delivered a total of 1,129 units.