that’s not manhattan… that’s a space station

by lestro

Rem Koolhaas is truly a visonary

except for leaving a small exhaust port leading to the main reactor at the end of a trench in the middle of that round thingy. As long as the rebels don’t use small, one-man fighters to attack it, we should be okay.

In Dubai Mr. Koolhaas and his Office for Metropolitan Architecture seem at first glance to have simply combined the two concepts, creating a hybrid of the generic and the fantastic. The core of the development would be the island, which would be divided into 25 identical blocks. Neat rows of towers — some tall and slender, others short and squat, depending on the zoning — line the blocks, as if a fragment of Manhattan had been removed with a scalpel and reinserted in the Middle East.

The monotony is broken by mixed-use structures whose immense scale and formal energy draw on mythic examples from architectural history. A spiraling 82-story tower might have been inspired by the minaret of the ninth-century Great Mosque of Samarra in Iraq; a gargantuan 44-story sphere brings to mind the symbolic forms of the 18th-century architect Étienne-Louis Boullée. The tilting intertwined towers of a complex dubbed “the loop” are a more elaborate version of Mr. Koolhaas’s headquarters for China Central Television, being built in Beijing…

Mr. Koolhaas takes a similarly textured approach to the buildings themselves. The sphere, for instance, is conceived as a self-contained three-dimensional urban neighborhood. Various public institutions are encased within smaller spheres suspended inside the space that are connected by escalators enclosed in long tubes. These smaller spheres are embedded in layers of residential housing, like embryos floating in a womb.

Koolhaas, by the way, is the guy that designed the stunning new Seattle Public Library.

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