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Eye on Dubai: Want to Live in a Skybridge?

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With an uncertain economy sure to slow the imaginations of developers on this side of the world (where have you gone, Tower Verre?), Dubai is where we will continue to go to get our dose of rendering porn. The latest is Jumeirah Gardens, an insanely expensive ($95 billion!) mixed-use megadevelopment revealed at the big Cityscape real estate conference currently going on in the emirate. A government-controlled company called Meraas Development is behind this plan, the centerpiece of which is 1 Dubai, designed by Chicago architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill. The Chicago Tribune and the Abu Dhabi-based rag The National have all the crazy details, like that the skybridges that connect the three towers that make up 1 Dubai will be stuffed with duplex apartments and restaurants of their very own. It's slated to become Dubai's third tallest building?behind the under construction Burj Dubai (also designed by Smith) and the just announced Nakheel Tower?and yet 1 Dubai is only one of three structures designed by the firm for Jumeirah Gardens.

Park Gate will be made up of six towers ranging in height from 30 to 40 floors, connected by an archway at the top and all facing each other like a Jets vs. Sharks rumble. There will be a shaded garden space in the middle "comparable to Middle Eastern markets," and yes, those are "hanging gardens" on top, meant to cool everyone down by as much as 10 degrees centigrade! Foundation work has already reportedly begun.

And for that New York flavor (in name, anyway), there's 1 Park Avenue, an 1,800-foot-tall tower of undulation that evokes Dubai's heritage of pearl trading, naturally. It will be offices, condos and hotel rooms, and solar panels and wind turbines will be included. Excavation work is underway. The rest of the Jumeirah Gardens development would be fleshed out with smaller towers and park space, and the occasional stray gold bar or two.
· New supertall commissions announced by Smith and Gill for Dubai, including mega-towers, worth $15 billion [The Skyline]
· Meraas tower to join Dubai’s buildings in the sky [The National]