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The BIGGEST news of 2016

The BIGGEST news of 2016

2016 has definitely been an eventful year for architecture and design, to say the least.

This year, design was on the forefront more than ever before in the Middle East, and especially in the UAE, with the launch of the first design school in the region, Dubai Institute of Design & Innovation (DIDI) in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Parsons. The school will be designed by Foster + Partners.

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DIDI Campus model displaying during the unveiling at d3.

Foster + Partners has also announced that it will be opening offices in Dubai Design District, alongside Calatrava International and Benoy. We had also recently visited Zaha Hadid Architects’ newly opened office in d3, and interviewed Patrick Schumacher, principal at the firm, as well as Tariq Khayyat, head of Middle East region.

 

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Zaha Hadid Architects office in Dubail, d3.

One of the saddest, and perhaps most shocking news of 2016 was the death of Dame Zaha Hadid at the age of 65. Tributes poured in for the late Royal Gold Medal-winner (the first woman to receive the title), with the Postal Service in Iraq featuring the Arab-born architect’s face on its new postage stamps.

This year, we also lost one of Dubai’s most highly regarded interior designers, James Bassos who passed at the age of 39.

On a happier note, Santiago Calatrava made big regional headlines this year with the announcement of his new project in the Dubai Creek, The Tower, which will surpass the Burj Khalifa in height. The project won this year’s Middle East Architect Concept Design of the Year Award.

 

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The Tower by Santiago Calatrava.

Speaking to Micael Calatrava about the project during the awards, he said: “One of the things we wished to do was to play on the legacy that the Burj Khalifa has left and really complement it for what it is and what it stands for. So we chose subtler shapes and more subtle designs, to form a sort of conversation between the two buildings”

Calatrava International has also been selected to design the UAE’s National Pavilion at the Expo 202o, with a falcon in flight-inspired design.

Foster + Partners, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Grimshaw Architects have also won a global competition to design the theme pavilions for Dubai Expo 2020.

 

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Foster + Partners, BIG and Grimshaw to design Theme Pavilions for Dubai Expo 2020.

BIG also made headlines this year, showcasing a continued involvement and growing portfolio of UAE-based projects. In addition to designing one of Dubai’s Expo 2020 pavilions, Bjarke Ingels, founder of BIG, is also involved in the design of the Hyperloop, Dubai’s first ever high-speed transport system which will reduce travel time between Dubai and Abu Dhabi to 12 minutes.

 

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Hyperloop design by BIG.

BIG also participated in a regeneration project for Abu Dhabi’s Port Saeed area, completing a culture and arts hub, Warehouse 421.

Futuristic transport has also been a topic of discussion this year, with the announcement of “jet-like” pods to be implemented on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island.

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and Dubai Properties have also started the test run of driverless vehicles, each capable of carrying 10 persons, over a 650 metre long track in Business Bay.

Advancement in technology and innovation has also been a big topic this year, with the completion of the first-ever 3D-printed building in Dubai. The Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, also revealed this year that by 2030, 25% of Dubai buildings to be 3D printed.

 

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Dubai Office of the Future is 100% 3D-printed.

3D printing is also one of the solutions that Qatar is looking into to create “desert-proof” stadium for the World Cup in 2022.

2016 was also a year of fires, starting with the Address Hotel fire on New Year’s Eve. Other big fires in the UAE followed, from two residential building in Ajman, to the Sulafa Tower fire in Dubai Marina. A fire also broke out in the architectural award winning Viceroy Tower in Dubai’s Jumeirah Village Circle.

 

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Dubai Address Hotel fire on NYE.

Lastly, the year is never complete without the announcement of some crazy projects. The creation of the largest man-made lagoon in the world was announced this year in Dubai, as well as the announcement of  Dubai Steps.

 

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Dubai Steps.

The project is a 25-storey structure which will reach 100 metres into the sky near Union Square and is planned to take no more than a year to build, according to assistant director general of Engineering and Planning at Dubai Municipality.

Hyperloop System

World’s FIRST Hyperloop will take you from Dubai-Abu Dhabi in 12 minutes, RTA signs deal

The Hyperloop One system: Conceptual Vision

The engineers, architects and designers from Hyperloop One and BIG have collaborated intensively for six months to produce a wholly original system design for Hyperloop travel. Today the company showcased the first-ever routes from Abu Dhabi to Dubai, several Hyperports (the equivalent of a station or airport) throughout Dubai, and the conceptual interiors and exteriors of the individual passenger pods.

The work is based on a detailed study of how an urban and inter-city transport network should integrate with the existing infrastructure. It’s autonomous, point-to- point and vastly simplifies the experience of getting from your front door to your destination.

“With Hyperloop One we have given form to a mobility ecosystem of Hyperpods and Hyperloop One Portals, where the waiting hall has vanished, along with waiting itself,” says Bjarke Ingels, founder, BIG.

“Collective commuting with individual freedom at near supersonic speed: we are heading for a future where our mental map of the city is completely reconfigured, as our habitual understanding of distance and proximity – time and space – is warped by this new form of travel.

In less than two years, Hyperloop One has raised more than $160 million, assembled a team of more than 200 world-class experts, built a campus in Downtown Los Angeles, a test and safety site in the Nevada desert, and a 10,000-sq. m. machine and tooling shop in North Las Vegas.

“The momentum is global and accelerating,” says Rob Lloyd. “The world will see the test of the first full-scale Hyperloop system in early 2017 at our Test and Safety Site in Las Vegas, and we will have multiple operational Hyperloop systems within five years.”

Identity September Cover

Identity September Cover

Please check out the September issue of Identity magazine.

sept identity cover

New Living on Water

A Developer Wants To Bring These Floating Homes To Dubai

Every day could feel like a five-star holiday if one developer gets their wish.

Dutch company New Living on Water hopes to entice Dubai residents from their high rises and on to the water with these luxurious floating homes.

The company will exhibit the concept at Dubai’s Cityscape exhibition next month, and hopes to sell Dhs183 million of the sustainable, buoyant residences in the UAE within the next 12 months.

“A lot of people nowadays live in very densely populated areas, and for most of them this is no problem in everyday life,” said NLW’s Managing Director and Co-owner, Menno de Roos. “But the need for some privacy and the inner need of being connected to nature has always been with us, and that’s what we’re offering.”

So, what do you get for your money? Well, sizes can vary, but a 16,000 square foot home with 520 square feet of outdoor space will cost around Dhs40 million to buy.

They’re certainly pricey, but you will be getting a lot of bang for your buck. The homes are split over several floors, accessed by an internal elevator, and a car jetty connects each floating capsule with the land.

NLW haven’t yet started building the homes, but they hope to complete the first ones by the end of next year. That means buyers will be able to have some input into their designs, and can decide what purpose-built rooms they need.

According to floor plans on the company’s website, options include cinemas, gyms, saunas, outdoor pools and wine cellars.

The “organically shaped” pods were designed with the aim of taking “their owners back to nature”, and have been built with an Eco-friendly focus.

“Our newly-developed floating residences guarantee both the privacy and nature that people are looking for, as well as the comfort of being part of a six-star super luxury beachfront resort,” said de Roos.

“They were developed for a very small niche-market, and designed with sustainability in mind in order to create mutual respect between humans and environment. Renewable energy sources are used as much as possible.”

As awe-inspiring as these homes are, they’re not the first partially submerged residences to come to Dubai.

The Seahorse Floating villas

Located around four kilometers off Dubai’s coast, consist of three floors bobbing above custom-created coral gardens.

Around 40 of the Dhs10 million properties are expected to be completed by the end of the year, with one show villa already constructed and open for viewings by clients and investors.

Developer Kleindienst hopes to create around 140 of the villas in total.

You can check out the NLW floating home concept at Cityscape Global, held at Dubai World Trade Centre between September 6 and 8. (Register online first to avoid a Dhs100 fee).

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