The remarkable development boom in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, both located in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), is completely transforming these cities’ skylines and attracting the world’s top architects. But it is also exacting a serious cost. Human Rights Watch (HRW) alleges that the migrant workers vital to constructing these projects are subject to “abusive labor practices”—and architects, it contends, are complicit in the problem. In a report titled “Building Towers, Cheating Workers,” published last November, HRW catalogued a host of abusive practices including nonpayment of wages, squalid or dangerous working and living conditions, and the denial of proper medical
The Burj Dubai realized its “tallest high-rise building in the world” claim on July 21, according to developer Emaar Properties, when the concrete floors were poured and set on the skyscraper’s 141st story. At 1,680 feet tall, the still-incomplete tower surpassed the previous height record of 1671 feet, established by Taiwan’s Taipei 101, and surges toward an undisclosed height rumored to be 2,300 feet, some 160 stories, when the tower is finished in 2008. Photo: Courtesy Emaar Properties The Burj Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, reached a milestone on Saturday when construction workers poured concrete for the 141st floor--making
How should a city manage residential development in a way that protects its historic manufacturing zones? Not surprisingly, perhaps, Donald Trump has exposed this planning dilemma with an opulent condominium-hotel tower designed by Handel Architects and David Rockwell, slated for a largely industrial block on the fringe of New York City’s trendy SoHo neighborhood. The conundrum is as much architectural as it is economic. Although cities nationwide are welcoming residential development to create a 24/7 environment downtown, these projects often displace small-scale industrial uses that contribute greater tax revenues. Preservationists also complain that these buildings—usually glass-walled towers—are out of character
Several large urban redevelopment projects are getting underway across California. In Los Angeles, the City Council’s Ad Hoc River Committee is seeking funds from federal, state, and local sources for the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan. The document, which was developed over the past two years by a team including the city’s Bureau of Engineering and Tetra Tech, received council approval in May. It calls for lowering, terracing, and greening much of the waterway’s concrete channel barriers as well as redeveloping surrounding areas into parks: a total of 239 projects along 31 miles of the 51-mile-long river. Image: courtesy
Editor’s note: You may read the news digest below or listen to it, plus other news headlines from ArchitecturalRecord.com, as a podcast by clicking this link. Click the play button to begin | Click here to download “Confrontational and controversial” architecture is what Gehry Partners’ Edwin Chan hoped to find among the five designs unveiled this week for the new Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, in East Lansing, Michigan, according to a July 18 article in City Pulse. With an avant-garde roster of finalists, it’s likely that Chan, one of the university’s eight jurors, got
Andres Lepik Photo:Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art Andres Lepik, a German curator and historian, joined the Museum of Modern Art as curator of contemporary architecture on July 1. He becomes the newest member of the Architecture and Design Department, headed by Barry Bergdoll, who was appointed last summer. Lepik most recently served as chief curator of the 20th- and 21st-century architecture collection at the Kunstbibliothek, in Berlin. Working in that capacity since 2004, he staged a series of small exhibitions that explored the designs of Berlin-based architects who have had commissions around the world but not in Berlin.
Columbia University continues to encounter hurdles in its plans to build a new 17-acre campus in Manhattanville, a scheme created by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Roughly 400 people turned out a public hearing last week to support plan 197-A, a modest community-backed alternative to the school’s proposal. Named for a clause in New York City’s charter that authorizes communities to create and submit their own development plans to the City Council, and developed over the past three years with the help of experts at the Pratt Institute, the 197-A plan is intended to integrate
Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), Foster + Partners, and Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) have been retained as architects for a multi-billion-dollar-project to redevelop New York City’s Pennsylvania Station district, parties close to the deal confirmed on Friday. Image ' William Low A view of the original Pennsylvania Station, from author/illustrator William Low's 2007 book Old Penn Station. Click here to read an article about the book Old Penn Station. Bud Perrone, a spokesperson for the project’s developers, a joint venture of the Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust, acknowledged that the three architecture firms are involved. Another source involved in