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02 | collaborations, 03 | publications

ICONAUTS IN THE N.Y. TIMES

11.01.07

Office For Metropolitan Architecture

Nicolai Ouroussof reviews OMA’s MAA-CBD project for Dubaï, the result of our (2007) summer’s work. Brings back some good memories, the team was amazing and we had quite a lot of design freedom, lots of blue foam cutting and 3d-printer action. We were in charge of designing the five outstanding buildings on the island, which are meant to be special occurancies in a mass of generic towers.

«Designed for one of the biggest developers in the United Arab Emirates, Nakheel, Mr. Koolhaas’s master plan for the proposed 1.5-billion-square-foot Waterfront City in Dubai would simulate the density of Manhattan on an artificial island just off the Persian Gulf. A mix of nondescript towers and occasional bold architectural statements, it would establish Dubai as a center of urban experimentation as well as one of the world’s fastest growing metropolises.

The mixed-use project, startling in scale, is a carefully considered critique not just of the generic city but of a potentially greater evil: the growing use of high-end architecture as a tool for self-promotion. To Mr. Koolhaas this strategy, which many architects refer to as the Bilbao syndrome, reduces cities to theme parks of architectural tchotchkes that mask an underlying homogeneity.»


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