January 5, 2010
The Burj Dubai, or as it was renamed during its opening Monday, the Burj Khalifa, has been likened to the Tower of Babel, or in the words of Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, "a tombstone for some ruined ideas." That's because the structure that has shattered the record for world's tallest building had the misfortune to be completed in the midst of a global recession, after Dubai's real estate market had all but collapsed. The tower may well be, as the headline on Hawthorne's critique called it, a "temple to hubris."
December 15, 2009 |
Abu Dhabi rescued debt-ridden Dubai on Monday with a $10-billion bailout package that lifted world financial markets but left unclear how the glittering emirate by the sea would recover from investors' jitters and a troubled real estate market. The plan provides $4.1 billion to repay a bond that matured Monday for developer Nakheel, which is controlled by state-owned Dubai World. The intervention by oil-rich Abu Dhabi, the most influential state in the United Arab Emirates, was an attempt to save its fellow emirate and to prevent a prolonged financial crisis from rippling across the region.
November 30, 2009 |
Dubai is a clever blend of audacity and architecture, a shiny monument to the egos and ambition that turned a tiny emirate into a Middle East financial giant. Russian oligarchs stroll along man-made islands shaped like palm trees, and sheiks race down a ski slope built inside a shopping mall. Lacking the oil reserves of the emirate's neighbors, Dubai's ruling family created a parallel economic reality fueled by real estate, international investment and the art of the possible. The emirate was fashioned into a sleek cityscape of startling images: Islam balanced against the seduction of Western capitalism, and tribal traditions brushing the fleeting trends of globalization.
December 26, 2004 |
A French urban climber who calls himself Spiderman scaled the world's tallest building, Taiwan's Taipei 101. Alain Robert, 42, took almost four hours to reach the top of the 1,679-foot building. The climb took him nearly twice as long as he had expected, partly because of dreary weather. Although he's climbed many of the world's tallest structures without the use of a rope, he ascended with one Saturday, probably because of the weather.
December 13, 2001 |
Donald Trump scrapped his plan to build the world's tallest building after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, opting instead for a 78-story skyscraper on Chicago's riverfront. The 1,073-foot glass-covered building, called Trump Tower Chicago, would be the city's fourth-tallest skyscraper. The New York real estate tycoon said in July he was considering building the world's tallest building on the site now occupied by the Chicago Sun-Times building.
November 11, 1996 |
Call it Asia's Edifice Complex. Fueled by fast-growing economies, leaders with high hopes and billionaires with big egos, the continent is displacing the United States as the home of the world's tallest towers. Once the base for the 10 highest buildings in the world, the United States can now claim only three: the Sears Tower, the World Trade Center and the Empire State Building.