If only they included street-facing retail in each of those bases in the Tallest Block instead of tucking them away in a backyard-facing mall, the neighborhood would've been one hell of an urban, vibrant place. What a missed opportunity.
Originally Posted by Aleks
dubai has a lot of really nice designs, there's just too many awkward shapes near each other to create a harmonious skyline, and 80% of the boxy ones are ugly as hell! The Jumeirah Beach Residences were a horrible mistake!
I actually like the JBR a lot. It's a massive chunk of "background" buildings, not meant to stand out as individual landmarks, but rather to give mass, density and presence to the area. If the towers all had individual designs, it would've made the place look like a total hodge-podge of postmodernist designs, randing from cool to mediocre to downright ugly. At their current state, the towers aren't the best out there, but they have a certain quiet dignity about them. With their light beige design, an almost classic, New York Art Deco massing (minus the detailing and proportions, obviously, but still not too bad), and an overall composition that mirrors the old, Yemeni-style Arabic highrise typology (as it's been said earlier), the complex actually works. Its monotony should be broken down further when the front of the JBR is (eventually, hopefully) lined with highrise hotels, creating the same effect as can be currently observed on the other side of the JBR - where you have several trophy buildings like Bay Central standing right next to the water, backed by a harmonious backgrop of unobtrusive, dignified background buildings.
Dubai's problem was the amount of unprecedented development that transformed the city's skyline over one decade in a more drastic manner than ever in human history. However, the city had no highrise heritage to draw inspiration from, so it just became a wild experimental developer playground. It's like a teenager who suddenly got millions in inheritance and doesn't know how to spend the money properly. Thus, after the crisis stabilizes, I can forsee Dubai developments switching from quantity to quality, with less attention on simply clogging the market with office space and condos and with more emphasis on creating unique, convenient buildings that can compete in Dubai's oversaturated market.