Dubai Renaissance

We first visited Dubai in 2005. The combination of excessive architecture and unprecedented development caught our attention and interest. If so much was being built there was certainly a way to participate in the frenzy of today’s architecture. Without a critical eye we identify Dubai’s condition as ‘the world’ we live in.
We thought at the time that what was needed for Dubai, for the world, was a Renaissance in architecture.
When OMA was invited to work on a competition for the landmark building at the Business Bay district, we decided to apply such theory. Our site was a roundabout in the middle of the extended creek; the allowed height for the building, 300 meters. By taking the needed program we simply used the maximum height and width possible, resulting on a large slab that we extruded 21 meters to fulfill the required square meters.
Not only its simple architecture participated in the proposed Renaissance, but due to its large mass, it also aimed to become contained urbanism, as if a city would have been lifted 90 degrees from the ground. Office programs occupy the lower half of the building and residential and hotels share the top. Yet the programs that bring the more civic aspect are horizontal lobbies distributed along the length of the building, introducing common programs: urban and art life at its base, business forum and wellness within the slab’s length and a panoramic level with social functions at its top.
We represented the building as if sitting amidst a gold city, all the same out of extreme differences and excessive decor; our building was a white concrete slab more according to that milieu, and marking the new beginning.