Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Revisited: WOD - Window of Dubai

We submitted the "Window of Dubai" as a competition entry to the Thyssen Krupp Elevator Award, which was asking for a emblematic sightseeing tower, incorporating innovative elevator technologies.

The concept for this project was based on our research on the question of a vertical urbanism and the possible use of cyclic elevator systems to create a seamless connection between public ground and public sky. Elevator companies like Thyssen and Mitsubishi are reinvestigating currently such systems, as they are more energy efficient.

With the competition site in Dubai (before the credit crunch), we also fell into the trap of being "Dubai-tized" and created something different from the usual office integrity: A purely visual, iconic structure with very little performance value to the public space.

After seeing other entries to this competition, we have shockingly realized, that we have not been the only ones, who have been Dubai-tized. Even as we started the project, the boundaries of cynicism, architectural integrity and the potential of just doing anything have been extremely blurred by the word alone – Dubai. Given those parameters, we went down a road, which lies on the verge of our own office integrity and agenda and the insanity of an architect’s wet dream. Not that we want to start a discussion about ethics in architecture, but it seems that all of us are responsible for the direction architecture took in recent years.

Despite the cynical character of the project, we do like the exploration in terms of form, ornamental structures and building transport systems and we believe, that it will return in a more feasible, more social form in other projects.

Team: Ulrich Kirchhoff, Claudia Wigger, Laure Bouchard, Keith Chung, Tim Mao Yiqing, Christopher Tan

© 2009, ice - ideas for contemporary environments

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