The world’s tallest building is under construction…in the Middle East.
After recently watching an interesting documentary about Dubai (in the United Arab Emirates) on 60 minutes, I briefly became fascinated with that city. The documentary called it “the largest construction site on the planet”–already boasting a phenomenal indoor ski slope, and man-made island groupings in the shape of “the World”. (They have no environmental regulations there, so they exploit the earth with stunning results!)
“The World” Real-Estate Development Project in Dubai
And the Burj Dubai is under construction there as well. This amazing tower reminds me of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Illinois” tower. (When completed it will be twice as tall as the Empire State Building!!)
Artist Rendering of the “Burj Dubai” and Dubai Skyline
Then I thought of the World Trade Center, and I became somewhat depressed. (I don’t hate the latest design, but by comparison to the Burj Dubai, the “Freedom Tower” is, quite frankly, stubby.)
I think what is so upsetting about the Burj Dubai is that it is so heroic a structure and it’s in the Middle East–where no wealth would exist today without Western aid and technology–and where, despite the transmission of heroic values to that region, the West (and especially the United States) is villified. Meanwhile, America, which fueled the industrial leap that made the wealth of Dubai possible, has largely lost its heroic sense of life, and little of significance seems to be under construction here (with one exception, see below). Viewed in full historical context, Dubai–and the Burj Dubai above all–is a historic-aesthetic monstrosity!
Honestly, there’s a part of me that hopes that, somehow, Providence will intervene, and the combination of oil pumping and Persian Gulf dredging will cause an unanticipated seismic event, bringing the thing down.
Meanwhile, I take some architectural solace in the continued growth of the Chicago skyline. The Trump Chicago (decent, but should be taller), and the Chicago Spire (takes getting used to, but it grows on you!) promise to add some inspiration into our architectural landscape.
The Chicago Spire (Click the link for the video intro to “elevate” your spirits.)