Tag Archives: Excess

What the hell, one more for the tall tower

### sstlive.co.nz Last updated 05:00 10/01/2010
Finlay Macdonald: Dubai edifice a monument to all that’s wrong in the world
By Finlay Macdonald – Sunday Star Times
As symbolism goes, it’s hard to beat Dubai’s just opened Burj Khalifa. A mostly empty monumental extravagance, built with borrowed money on shifting sands, the world’s tallest building more or less sums up the demented excess of modern speculative capitalism. It was even hastily renamed (having begun life as the Burj Dubai) in honour of the ruler from down the road in oil-rich Abu Dhabi who bailed out the bankrupt emirate. Talk about being on the Zeitgeist.
But then, the whole of Dubai is very much an offering to the gods of vulgar materialism. As such, all right-minded aesthetes and ascetics hate the place. It represents everything that’s wrong in this sub-prime world – tacky, boastful, exploitative, corrupt and unsustainable.
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Finlay’s reply is not exactly the reply I started writing after the base jumping news. It’s still in draft form and shaking with vertigo, or new science or something. I’ll polish it off in a day or two of reflection about why I’m pumping What if? with mega projects, shall I?!

Oh, a purpose for everything.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Abu Dhabi

End of last week, a colleague’s brother and his family flew out of Christchurch to take up work and residence in Abu Dhabi, the largest member of the United Arab Emirates federation and a major oil exporter. Population: one million.

It’s a place I know little about, except through Youtube videos profiling the fantasmic architecture and the forward-looking strategic plan.

At The Chronicles of Yarnia we mention Abu Dhabi will debut Personal Rapid Transit “Podcars” later this year.

Tonight, there’s more news feed on Abu Dhabi’s financial aid for Dubai.

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### TVNZ News 6:52PM Monday December 14, 2009
Abu Dhabi gives Dubai surprise bailout
Source: Reuters
Abu Dhabi stepped in to help fellow United Arab Emirates member Dubai with a $US10 billion injection, of which $US4.1 billion was allocated to troubled state-owned conglomerate Dubai World to pay immediate obligations, Dubai said on Monday.
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usnewsandworldreport 15 July 2008
Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE will become a cultural centre with organic, postmodern and cutting-edge architecture designed by world-class architects including Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry, and Tadao Ando. These futuristing buildings include the Louvre Abu Dabi, Abu Dabi Performing Arts Center, Abu Dabi Guggenheim Museum, and Maritime Museum.

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squintopera 17 June 2008
The Urban Planning Council of Abu Dhabi (UPC) appointed Squint Opera to create a short film illustrating their grand Urban Planning Guide for Abu Dhabi. The film was presented at Cityscape Abu Dhabi, 13-15 May 2008.

The film communicates the principles and visualises the UPC plans for the expansion of the city to attract investors, developers and architects. The UPC commissioned this film as an awe-inspiring vision demonstrating the scale, ambition and radical nature of the plan.

Alice Scott directed the six-minute film that describes the plan in 3D, bringing life to certain aspects of the unique environment and a future evolving culture. Through 4 main key themes (Green – Live – Work – Connect) we are shown pedestrians walking the shaded sidewalks, using the world-class metro system and trams surrounded by green, energy saving residential townhouses, villas, high rises, offices and retail developments. The imagery shows desert landscaping, renewable energy measures and water-cooling canals in the streets of Abu Dhabi and demonstrates a efficient quality of life for the future population.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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