Petition for College of Architecture Dean

| April 9th, 2013

We the undersigned alumni, students, and student organizations of the Georgia Tech College of Architecture write in support of Gail Dubrow’s appointment as Dean of the College. //

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SOM Burj Dubai

| February 6th, 2010

A few weeks ago, the SOM designed Burj Khalifa (formerly called the Burj Dubai) opened. A few stats and thoughts about the tallest building in the world below.

I have to admit, that as an architecture student, I have been keeping my eye on this project for some time now. Even before I saw the construction documents and projections, just the idea of a building soaring a half mile into the air, observatories from 124 stories up, seemed fascinating.

A few statistics:
Total Height- 2,717 ft.
Building Cost- $1.5 billion USD
Complex Cost (Downtown Dubai)- $20 billion
Floor Count- 160

The statistics keep going, too: the Armani Hotel, located about midway in the structure, was selling for $3500 per square foot. The construction employed people from over 100 countries. Even with the custom made robots that assist in window washing, it will take 36 window washers 3 full months to clean the outside of the building. And on… and on…
As the LA Times noted, however, the Burj Khalifa is “the latest… in [a] string of architectural vacancy.” What does the building really represent? If one looks at the development of Dubai, you would see that there literally was nothing there. It was a desert. Now the oil kings in Dubai have turned it into what surely will become an empty Disneyland, an image of a bank account that once was impressive, but now has been deflated. The money ran out, and so did the glamour of Dubai. What was meant to be a tourism spot is a nightmare to navigate, as a friend of mine from Bahrain says. He said from two miles out of the city, the cabbies were begging him not to ask for a ride to downtown, because they knew that the already terrible traffic was going to be so bad coming both in and out of the city, that his would probably be the only fare that the cabbie would get that night. The scarier question: what is going to happen to all that glass and steel in Dubai?

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