arabian mega skyscrapers

By the end of the decade, not one of New York’s skyscrapers will be in the top 10 tallest, compared to those in Saudi Arabia or the Arab Emirates. The Burj Dubai, which is nearly completed will be the size of two Empire State buildings on top of each other and it would be completely dwarfed by proposals on either side of the Arabian peninsula for mile high towers.

The Emirates contain some of the most surreal, monumental and ironic recent architectural projects, including a mammoth ferris wheel hotel, a twin tower Wold Trade Center and an enormous convention center intentionally modeled on the Death Star from Star Wars. Vote for the most surreal.


Posted by David Galbraith

 
Jeddah sits adjacent to Mecca on the West Coast of Saudi Arabia.<p /><p />While the mile high tower proposal for Jeddah may be nothing more than a Hookah dream, there are some schemes that come close to the developments in the Emirates. The Al Jawhara, for example, is a proposal for a 40 story deluxe residential tower
The current proposal for the largest Arabian tower is on the other side of the peninsula to the Gulf States, adjacent to Mecca. Designed by Pickard Chilton this tower would be fully a mile high.<p /><p />Often, designs for worlds tallest buildings are done purely for PR reasons, since drawing a straight line on a piece of paper and saying its a mile high does not cost very much. <p /><p />The height of skyscrapers is dictated by interest rates rather than structural feasibility. A mile high tower was originally proposed more than half a century ago by Frank Lloyd Wright and it would have been technically feasible then.
Designed by the firm i used to work for, Foster and Partners, this was the tallest building in Riyadh until 2001. Its noticeable feature is the very un Foster-like 3 story gold sphere which contains a restaurant. <p /><p />This presumably was colored gray in all presentation material.
Part of a cluster of towers forming a beach front hotel and leisure development. The tallest of these residential developments will be 60 stories.
the Saudi capital currently only has two landmark skyscrapers, a tall pointy thing and this mirrored glass giant flosser. The bit where the floss is traditionally held is a viewing galley.
Completely mad, this scheme has a significant part of the hotel actually under water. its cost of $500M looks optimistic to say the least.
Part of the citee lunatique de ciel. This design takes the London Eye and makes each pod a hotel room, presumably meaning that if it turns into the: Out of Control Raging Fire Ring of Dubai, you have to parachute to safety.
The worlds tallest tower with a 90 degree twist. As if there are that many. An 80 storey tower due to be completed 2 years from now, but currently held up because of a collapse on the construction site.
Part of a truly astronomically large development this tower has a planned height such that you can join the mile high club in your own bedroom, and peer into the desolation of southern Iraq.
When finished it will be taller than any other building by any measure. The height of two Empire State buildings stacked on top of each other, the Burj Dubai, complete with its, tacky as hell sounding, Zoolander style Armani hotel is the tower that SUVs built.<p /><p />Compounding the liberal arts essayists idea of building big towers as a phallus substitute is the fact that it uses the same multi tube structural system that was used on the Sears Tower. This was inspired by the natural three tube mechanism governing how a penis stays rigid in the non-architectural kind of erection.
Nobody knows how big the Al Burj (not to be confused with the Burj Dubai) will be when completed, except that it will be bigger than the Burj Dubai which is bigger than anything else in the world.<p /><p />It probably wont get built at the original height of three quarters of a mile, however this architectural monstrosity would have made almost every other skyscraper in the world look tiddly.
Pentominium, a condo unit where every unit is like a penthouse - at least thats the realtor marketing speak.<p /><p />Apartments will be whole floor units of 6,000 square feet and residents will have access to use the buildings fleet of high end sports cars and Rolls Royces. Yuck.
Until recently, this pair of almost 60 storey towers were perhaps the landmark symbol of Dubai. One is an office and the other residential. The new breed of towers, under construction, will dwarf them.
Rather like the Dubai Emirates Towers, the 53 story Bahrain Harbour towers which are currently the tallest in Bahrain, represent the 50 story development phase which will be almost immediately eclipsed by constructions an order of magnitude larger.
At 30 stories this is not particularly big compared to other new developments in the gulf. However its design is a good example of the difference between funny shaped tower for the sake of it, and funny shaped tower with something going on design-wise.
The most striking feature of the Bahrain WTC are the giant wind turbines integrated into the structure, which combine with its own water treatment plant to create an extremely politically correct, green building. Perhaps not so politically astute was the architects decision to design a Twin Tower World Trade Center on the Arabian peninsula with integrated aviation style propellors.
When construction started on the 83 story sky Tower, it was set to be the 15 largest tower in the world. its a mixed use building built on the natural Reem Island and you can already apply for a 97% mortgage on a apartment there. Just make sure you get a fixed rate.
Confusingly, Qatar are calling their 94 story mega skyscraper, Dubai Towers. Construction started in summer 2007 and its scheduled to open in 2010.<p /><p />For those of you interested in plotting the genealogy of funny shaped towers this is one of the last old school, crystalline deconstructionist jobbies, before architects got busy with non uniform b-splines in later versions of Autocad.
Shown is the voguish double curved feature tower of the recently opened Abu Dhabi exhibition center. When the second phase is completed it will be the largest exhibition space in the Middle East.
Dutch superstar architecture firm, OMA, led by Rem Koolhaas have a design for the RAS Al Khaimah convention center in the United Arab Emirates that looks exactly like the Death Star. <p /><p />Images of the Death Start were even used in the firms presentation of the scheme.<p /><p />The convention center proposal would be the Brasilia like centerpiece for an entirely new city in the lesser known RAK emirate.<p /><p />I suspect that OMA have their tongue firmly in cheek with this.

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