Tag Archives: Oil wealth

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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Blogger casts critical eye over downtown Dubai

So the Burj Khalifa is finished—what now for Dubai?

### http://www.architectsmagazine.com January 06, 2010 8:43 PM
Architect: Beyond Buildings blog
Instant Metropolis
By Aaron Betsky
Phoenix meets Hong Kong, Instant Urbanism, Go Go Architecture—none of it quite describes Dubai. The Burj Khalifa (see my previous post) is only the exclamation point to the tectonic uplift of real estate development that has created not just one, but several human-made mountain ranges rising out of the flat desert next to the Gulf. Flying out last night, it all spread out below me.

Dubai is an act of self-conscious citymaking, a will to metropolitan status. Build it and they will come—and they have.

What are lacking are many of the amenities that make cities work, from public open space to mass transportation, from cultural facilities to sports stadia. Dubai is building some of them…
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-Aaron Betsky is the director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, and in 2008 he was director of the 11th Venice International Architecture Biennale. Trained as an architect at Yale, he has published more than a dozen books on art, architecture, and design and teaches and lectures about design around the world. Aaron worked for Frank O. Gehry and Associates and Hodgetts & Fung Design Associates as a designer, taught for many years at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, and between 1995 and 2001 was curator of architecture and design at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. From 2001 to 2006 he was director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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