Dubai Plans Mall of the World, the First Ever ‘Temperature Controlled City’

Temperature-controlled retail street network. Image Courtesy of Holding

Developers Dubai Holding have announced their plans to build the ‘Mall of the World’ a new 48 million square foot tourist district in Dubai that will host the world’s largest mall, a new cultural district, a theme park and 20,000 hotel rooms. What’s more, the district’s 7km street network will be covered by a retractable roof during the summer months, creating the world’s first “temperature controlled city”.

Read on after the break for all the details

Venice Biennale 2014: UAE Unearths “Structures of Memory”

National House - My father’s friend Ahmed Abdulla Al Jassasi, Al Shahama, 1980; Courtesy of Houreya Naser Musabah Khamis Al Kalbani

Within the rapidly changing landscape of the United Arab Emirates, much of the nation’s vernacular and modern architecture is being quickly replaced by “iconic” contemporary structures. Despite this, many of the ’s previous landscape remains a vivid memory within the minds and mementos of its people.

Thus, for the UAE’s 2014 participation at the Venice Architecture Biennale, Lest We Forget: Structures of Memory in the United Arab Emirates will bring to light seminal projects of the last century that expose the transmission of architectural traditions in a way that addresses the nation’s current cultural identity. 

Preservation of pre-oil vernacular architecture and a special focus on 1970s and 80s modern architecture will both serve as highlights of the

The UAE’s full curatorial statement, after the break…

Heatherwick Tapped to Design “Sunken Oasis” in Abu Dhabi

Fractured Desert . Image ©

Thomas Heatherwick has been commissioned to transform a 125,000 square meter park in the heart of into a multifunctional “sunken oasis.” Inspired by “fractured desert crust,” the park is designed as a series of fragmented canopies that rise to form a three-dimensional landscape across the site. Beneath the cracked surface will be a series of interconnected public spaces cooled by lush vegetation that provide organic produce to local restaurants and space for community gardens.

What If Dubai’s Next Tower Were an Architecture School?

Courtesy of Evan Shieh, Ali Chen

BLUE TAPE, the winning proposal of an international competition to design an Architecture School adjacent to the American University in Dubai, “is a vertical re-imagining of the typical architecture school typology.” Submitted by USC alumni Evan Shieh and Ali Chen, BLUE TAPE, which transforms a horizontal pin-up space into a vertical ‘conceptual connector,’ is inspired by USC’s ‘Blue Tape Reviews’ (their method of pinning up work for design reviews).

Al Zorah Pavilion / Annabel Karim Kassar

© Tony Elieh

Architects: Annabel Karim Kassar
Location: , United Arab Emirates
Project Architect: Rabih Zeidan
Area: 4,500 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Tony Elieh

World’s Tallest Buildings of 2013 Dominated by Asia

Courtesy of Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats

According to the latest Tall Trends Report, 73 buildings in excess of 200 meters were completed in 2013 worldwide, the second highest total only behind 2011 with 81 completions. The increase of completions from 2012 to 2013 continues a significant upward trend that, since 2000, has seen an astounding 318 percent increase in tall buildings. 

Milan Expo 2015: Foster Unveils Design for UAE Pavilion

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Foster + Partners have unveiled the design for the United Arab Emirates pavilion at the 2015 Milan Expo. Designed to evoke the experience of walking through ’s ancient communities, the elongated site will be transformed into a contemporary reinterpretation of a desert city. Passive principles, such as rainwater harvesting and the integration of photovoltaic cells, are targeted to achieve LEED Platinum certification. These strategies are all designed to support the pavilion’s many dining areas, which embrace the Expo’s overarching theme “Feeding the Planet” by serving a taste of modern Emirarti cuisine. 

“We are very proud to be chosen again to create the national pavilion for the UAE,” stated Norman Foster. “Our challenge has been to design for two climates – to create a naturally cool, comfortable space for visitors in Milan, while considering the pavilion’s ultimate reconstruction in the Emirates, where there is a need to provide shade from the intense sun.”

Rosewood Abu Dhabi / Handel Architects

© Gerry O’Leary

Architects: Handel Architects
Location: Abu Dhabi –
Lead Designer: Glenn Rescalvo, AIA, Partner
Area: 102000.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Gerry O’Leary, Don Riddle

Sowwah Square / Goettsch Partners

© Lester Ali

Architects: Goettsch Partners
Location: Al Maryah Island, , UAE
Design Team: Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure
Area: 529,400 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Lester Ali, Mubadala Real Estate & Infrastructure, Michele Nastasi, Aerial Image

Alegra / Mr. Important Design

© Jeff Dow

Architects: Mr. Important Design
Location: Murooj Rotana Hotel,
Design Team: Charles Doell
Area: 300 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Jeff Dow

Sheikh Zayed Bridge / Zaha Hadid Architects by Hufton+Crow

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Becoming a destination in itself and potential catalyst in the future urban growth of , the Zaha Hadid designed Sheikh Zayed Bridge was conceived in a highly mobile society that requires a new route around the Gulf south shore, connecting the three Emirates together. Hufton+Crow shared with us their photos as they capture the many viewpoints of this sinusoidal waveform structure. A complete gallery of images after the break.

Design Days Dubai

Wendell Castle, “The White Edition” Big Table, Originally designed 1970, USA with limited editions 2006-2011 / © Sherry Griffin/R 20th Century

The only design fair in the Middle East and South Design Days Dubai is the most diverse design fair globally presenting galleries from six continents. On view March 18-21, R 20th Century will be presenting iconic works by Wendell Castle, Oscar Niemeyer and Joaquim Tenreiro, and new pieces by The Haas Brothers, kelly behun | STUDIO, David Wiseman, Thaddeus Wolfe, and Jeff Zimmerman. More information on the event after the break.

In Progress: Cayan Tower / SOM

Courtesy of

Architects: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Structural And Plumbing Engineering: SOM
Site Area: 3,026.50 m2
Project Area: 111,484 m2
Building Height: 307m (73 stories)
Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of SOM

Rock Stadium Proposal / MZ Architects

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Inspired by the desert landscape, the design of Rock Stadium by MZ Architects celebrates the game it hosts as much as it celebrates the site in which it lays. Sunken 200,000sqm into the cooler depth of the desert sand, the Rock Stadium, like a hidden treasure, presents itself to the visitor as a series of sharply inclined planes emerging from the ground. More images and architects’ description after the break.

‘Towards Green Buildings/Architecture for UAE?’ Workshop

Courtesy of University

As part of Ajman University of Science & Technology‘s series of architecture workshops by architects and designers, Emilio Ambasz will be presenting the ‘Towards Green Buildings/Architecture for ?’ workshop. The event will take place at the Ajman University February 4-10. To register and for more information, please feel free to contact the workshop coordinator: Dr. Jihad Awad: Dr_jihadaa@yahoo.com, j.awad@ajman.ac.ae.

Bulgari Pavilion / NaNA

Courtesy of

The Bulgari Pavilion, a temporary installation commissioned by prestigious luxury jewelry brand Bulgari, was designed by NaNA for the Art 2012 event held Saadiyat al Manarat, November 5-10. The architects were given a prominent outdoor space at the entrance of the event to create a lounge for VIPs and dignitaries of the art fair. Their design was conceived as an exclusive and private venue with live music, a bar, and a specially curated selection of Bulgari’s high end jewelry. More images and architects’ description after the break.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum / Ateliers Jean Nouvel

Courtesy of

The Louvre Museum, designed by Ateliers Jean Nouvel, aims at creating a welcoming world which associates lights and shadows as well as shimmers and calm places in a serene atmosphere. Its objective is to belong to its country, to its history, to its geography, avoiding being either a dull translation of this reality or a pleonasm meaning boredom and convention. It also aims at emphasizing the fascination generated by rare encounters. More images and architects’ description after the break.

In Progress: Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi / HDR Architecture

Courtesy of HDR Architecture

Architects: HDR Architecture
Location: , UAE
Interior Design:
Completion Year: 2013
Photographs: Courtesy of HDR Architecture