6 March 2006

The World's Largest Architectural Experiment

三百個美麗小海島正從杜拜對出的海灣慢慢呈現,彷如一個新的世界版圖。這是由沙與石建出來的人工小島,將被建成世外桃源式的豪華渡假區。這個名為「世界」的填海建島計劃可說是杜拜最具野心的建築項目,同時令它成為了世界最大的建築試驗場。計劃聽起來有點天方夜譚,但目前已有六十多個小島鄒型落成,四十多個並已賣出,大部份為國際性合資財團。與毗鄰「The Palm」同屬國營機構The Nakheel Company發展,工作是建起這些小島,出售給其他的財團發展。海底酒店、室內真雪滑冰場、還有比迪斯尼大兩倍的主題公園…… 沒有事情是不可能,這個小國家正憤力發展,誓要成為世界級都會。「世界」之後是甚麼?是世界最高的建築物 – The Burj Dubai。

Some 300 islands looking like a blurred vision of the planet's nations are slowly emerging from the waters of the Gulf, forming an exclusive and sandy world of their own just off the coast of Dubai. "The World" is one of the most ambitious projects yet launched by this tiny emirate, making it the most spectacular and outlandish architectural experiment on the planet. The country is relentlessly, almost obsessively, building itself into significance. Extra land is being reclaimed off the coast, just as artificial lakes and canals are creating waterfront real estate in the heart of the desert. Nothing seems impossible: an underwater hotel, an indoor ski slope with real snow, and a theme park twice the size of Disneyland have all recently been finished or are under construction. And then there is what will be the world's tallest building, the Burj Dubai. "The World" situates a couple of miles off the coast of Dubai, just next door to "The Palm" which is also developed by the state-owned Nakheel company. The Nakheel's task is simple: bring the islands up from the Gulf's shallow waters. Then it's up to buyers to develop them, with an exclusive villa for oneself or a luxury tourist complex to make yet more money.


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