Monday, December 28, 2009

Does Dubai have enough landmarks/icons?

Imagine that the Big Ben, Eifel Tower, Sydney Opera House, Tai Mahal and the Washington Monument where all placed in one city. To me it looks obvious that the “value” of the landmarks/icons would decrease. After all you can only put one icon at a tourist t-shirt.

I was wondering this because it looks like they only build landmarks in one of the new world city: Dubai.

A small selection of the landmarks/icons of Dubai:First of all they have the articial islands in extraordinary shapes that can be seen as a landmarks/icons.

Picture of the Palm islands

Also they got alot of skyscrapers (click link for all the skycrapers of Dubai) that are landmark worthy. Here are some of my favorites:

World’s tallest building Burj Dubai (nice site with 5 years photo archive of how its build)

Dancing towers made by Zaha Hadid

Dancing/signature towers

Burj Al-Arab world’s only ‘seven star’ hotel.

And then they got some new plans like the ‘deathstar’ from OMA.

Death star by Rem Koolhaas i assume its inspired by Star Wars

The question is are this to many landmarks?

As an architecture lover I say no, there are never to many landmarks! There are many city’s with lots of landmarks I take New York as an example. New York got the statue of liberty, Guggenheim museum, World trade center (luckly it wasn't the only landmark of NY), Brooklyn bridge, Empire state building, Chrysler Building, Time Square and many more. Nobody will say that New York got to much landmarks because they created a beautifull city and they all got another main function like being an office or museum etc. There is one Exception and that’s the Statue of liberty the main and only function of the statue of liberty is being a landmark/icon.

So my statement is a city can only handle 1 or max 2 landmark/icon with the only function of being a landmark/icon.

Some examples:

Paris: Eifel Tower

Brussel: Atomium

London: Big Ben

Washington DC: Washington Monument.

These landmarks/icons have as only function to be an icon and this makes them most of the time the main icons of the city.

In Dubai all the landmarks/icons have another main function like office, residential or hotels. All this buildings are all big investments for a small piece of the spotlight. I don’t know if they are worth the investment but they create a beautiful city that is impossible to ignore in future.

The only thing what is really missing in Dubai is a landmark/icon with no other function except for being printed on the tourist crap. So my Conclusion is Dubai need 1 more real landmark/icon. But only the future will tell how its end with Dubai.


cybrbeast said...

Nice post camel!
Dubai does have a least one landmark/icon with no other function. It's the biggest fountain in the world right in front of the Burj Dubai.
I feel very ambivalent about the Dubai. One the one hand it has some of the most spectacular and grand architecture in the World.

But on the other hand it's built by a lot of people living basically as slaves.
And the country might have a total economic collapse if the ginormous amount of real estate they have built doesn't get bought.

I might need to make a blog post about these issues sometime.

Maybe look at what Abu Dhabi is doing. They are also making amazing buildings and places. And they also have the oil to fund all these buildings.

Kamiel said...

Abu dhabi is now one of the main sponsors of Dubai. Its indeed the question if everything will be build and in Dubai and that it ain't getting a goshtown soon or later. I think Abu Dhabi can't let Dubai (who are there neighbours) fail because it will damage the reputation of the United Arab Emirates and therefore its important for Abu Dhabi future.

The mostly Indian "slave workers" in Dubai and Abu Dhabi are indeed hard to ignore. But you can see it as global interns they get payed in high tech building knowledge.

That fountain is indeed a good icon i totally forgot about it.

Something else i might one post is the totally failure and missed opportunity's of the (auto and public) transport systems in Dubai. In my opinion the most important thing for a new city.