Thursday, August 27, 2009

More Fun In Dubai

In this month's issue of Sierra Magazine, I write about the two sides of Dubai -- the world's greatest per capita resource consumption, combined with a new, and often missing-the-point interest in "sustainable" design. Now comes word of a new development proposal that epitomizes this only-in-Dubai approach to eco-friendly development: a six-story floating ice hotel . Perhaps there's a contest going on among architects working in the UAE to see whose project can suck up the most energy?

Here's the description from the architects' website:

Blue Crystal is the idea of a swimming world of ice offshore Dubai, which showsthe bright variety of water and its beauty.With the help of light and sound luxurious restaurants as well as eventlocation are melted into a three-dimensional experience.

Inhabitat reports -- with well-justified skepticism -- that, "The German design duo Frank and Sven Sauer claim that Blue Crystal will harness the world’s natural energy sources, keeping it self-sufficient. It will supposedly be powered by solar cells embedded in the icy facade and employ an ‘energy recycling system."

Of course, it turns out to be far-easier to type the word "sustainable" than it is to actually create a sustainable floating iceberg in the middle of the desert.

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