ZahaHadid’s latest project in Dubai may be her most extravagant. With penthouse suites and private rooftop terraces, a luxury hotel and plenty of retail outlets at the tower’s base, the latest addition to the BurjKhalifa complex merely extends the mirage of finite plenty in the emirate.
The mixed-use building will consist of two separate volumes with a vacuous core linked by covered walkways on all four sides. In addition to designing the tower itself for the developer Omniyat, Hadid has been commissioned to select each piece of furniture for the interior.
While it appears to have been designed to maximize natural lighting, no mention is made of incorporating renewable energy, energy efficient appliances or lighting or doing anything groundbreaking to offset this 21-storey structure’s environmental footprint.
A lot of large architecture firms are working in the Middle East and most have caught on to the notion that it’s essential to build within energetic and resource constraints. Most, that is, but Hadid. Her swooping volumes are consistently arresting, but they do little to nothing to perpetuate a more responsible approach to design.