OMA, Dubai Renaissance
Essay in: J. Aragüez (ed.). The Building Book. Zurich: Lars Müller, 154-161. Alexandra Vougia.
Originally presented in The Building Symposium – Part I at the Architectural Association – School of Architecture (2 June 2014).
Dubai Renaissance is the 2006 competition entry for the Dubai Business Bay designed by the Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Since its inception, the objective of the project was clear: “to end the current phase of architectural idolatry – the age of the icon – where obsession with individual genius far exceeds commitment to the collective effort that is needed to construct the city…” Along these lines the explicit ambition of Dubai Renaissance surfaces: to function against architecture’s urgency to continually produce idols or icons; an urgency that has arisen from the excessive conditions of late market economy. Notably in Dubai, these conditions have urged architecture to a distorted practice of accumulating individual objects that contest with each other and construct an incoherent image on the urban scale. It is this scale that the project proposes to renegotiate and involve in its design.