The Burj Dubai is many things: World's tallest building, financial folly, symbol of mankind's technological triumph, and now, possibly, a mechanism for defusing tropical storms. How on Earth is that possible? It's the chimney effect.
Will a stunted economy leave us with stunted cities? Reduced building heights have become an unfortunate reality for a faltering construction industry, as architects are seeing their projects slashed in half, some mid-construction.
For sheer quantity of dazzling buildings, no firm can match the venerable architectural behemoth Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Known for snazzy corporate headquarters, the firm also designed the elegant Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, California, and the award-winning LEED Silver masterpiece for the U.S. Census Bureau. In fact, SOM won 54 awards in 2008. Here are five examples from the 54 cities where most of its work is concentrated.
I returned recently from a business trip to Dubai where I worked on a communications project with a private equity company. This is a fascinating country – city-state, really – with many contradictions. Since it is so widely featured in the news, I thought I’d give you my take on it.