31 December 2007

Dubai snaps...

I'm in Dubai for the last week of 2007 and the pace of growth is as astonishing as ever. Although I have been and remain to be a critic of the way it's been done I guess there are things to learn from it. In some ways one could draw parallels between this insane growth to that of Manhattan in the early 20th century.

Here are some photos I took while flying into Dubai from India
In the far distance growing upwards the Dubai Business Bay

This is the sort of gated city/exclusive villas development that is sprawling all around the new high density areas of the city

And this of the highly distasteful 'World' man made islands made to look like the continents.

Beyond the artificial lagoons is the neighbouring state of Sharjah

And one more of Dubai Business Bay

Here are some snaps of Burj Dubai - the center piece of the Business Bay - and already the tallest building in the world though not yet completed.
If I keep aside the unnecessity for this monstrosity over here I begin to appreciate it's simplicity in form, though it does look a bit to thin at the top (looks like very little area on each floor would be usable). Wonder how it would feel like inside?
And some snaps from Dubai Marina - an area which till 5 years back was considered to far from the center of Dubai (almost a Desert wasteland) and now is all set to be a thriving residential area with its own bay and marina.

Around 12 years ago I used to come around here quiet often to meet some friends (who at that time really lived in the middle of the desert) . And we used to walk around in the desert in front of there house picking up shells and looking for things - Now thats where they build this huge bay and the seawater flows through.
And the last image was shot at the beach (in Dubai it may be wise to specify that this is a natural beach) where a family of tourists was enjoying a game of cricket with the infamous Palm island development in the background.

12 December 2007

Coin street / Young Vic

Here's some photos of two very interesting small projects by London based architects - Haworth Tompkins (both of these are quiet close to Southwark tube station).

The first one is a community Centre that they designed for the Coin Street Community Builders. The centre known as 'The Coin Street Neighbourhood Centre' completes the urban block which is made up by the Iroko Housing Co-operative also designed by the same architects.
The Centre, largely a public building houses a nursery, crèche, community cafe, training and conferences space and the client’s HQ.The most striking element of the building – the main street façade was developed in collaboration with artist Antoni Malinowski (who has worked a lot with architects and has collaborated on other projects as well with the same architects check out his work on his website - www.antonimalinowski.co.uk/ )
Besides the simple and innovative use of ventilation systems and sustainable materials, the project was programmatically designed to accommodate a number of different uses thus making it a much more sustainable building in the long run.

The next project by the same architects is the much celebrated Young Vic Theatre. (the project won the RIBA Award,RIBA National Award,RIBA London Building of the Year 2007 but just missed out on the RIBA Stirling Prize)Though a large scale refurbishment job, the architects were highly successful retaining the spirit of a building that was made up as a mish-mash of whatever was available on site as a temporary theatre some four decades ago. Similar to Coin street, the innovative use of materials is key to this building. Through the use of a very interesting palette of materials the project retains its informal quality that people have come to love of this small theatre.
And at a Urban scale the project maintains a very playful street edge - depending on the time of the day either remaining anonymous or becoming a point of reference on an otherwise ordinary street.

03 December 2007

Jumeirah in London!!!

Jumeirah - is a part of Dubai that I grew up in. And strangely the further I go away from there the closer it gets to me : )Most people however know it now, as the name of an international brand of 5 star hotels. One of them is coming up just around the corner from my workplace.

The building is designed by Ian Simpson Architects - a well known firm from Manchester

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