Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Burj Khalifa: A cathedral for the affluent?

In a few weeks residents will start moving into the world's tallest building, Dubai's Burj Khalifa. Cultures have often built imposing structures to show-off their strength and innovation - from Egyptian pyramids to mosques & cathedrals to the sky scrapers of the 20th century. Since a considerable amount of innovation and investment goes into the creation of such structures, these buildings often map onto the existing political and military powers.

So how should we see Dubai's Burj Khalifa in the 21st century? There is no denying the technical prowess associated with the building. But those responsible for the feat are not associated with Dubai or even the Middle East - rather they are integrated in the global econ
omic system. Perhaps, in this sense Dubai - a commercial free port - may be an appropriate symbol of buying its way to host the world's tallest building. Far from projecting political, cultural, or military power, the Burj Khalifa may just be a monument for the affluent. May be that's okay. However, if there was so much money to be spent on a building, I would have voted for a Hilton in space.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
would it be possible to post full articles through RSS? I tend to read only the first couple of lines and then consider it not important enough to click through to the article itself. I know that's what it is not because your articles are always a good read but for me it's a click too much :-)

emre said...

So much money, so little sense.

Salman Hameed said...

Emre,

And I bet it did not produce a high quality architecture university or school either.

Anon:

I did think about the full posts. However, then people have scroll through the entire posts and they will get antsy about the articles that they just want to skip :)

I know it is a pain - but can you still click for the full articles :) - Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Salman,
oh, never occured to me that someone would use a different kind of feed reader :-) Mine is just like an eMail program (Vienna) where you – well, you know how that works. Anyway, thanks for considering it.