Tag Archives: green design

Foster+Partners’ projects in China, Russia and Middle East


Living Wall in Jordan, the high-rise buildings will rise out this quarry-looking space.


Russia Tower in Moscow will be Europe’s tallest tower and another ‘sustainable’ architecture project. 


Pushkin Museum extension in Moscow


Central Market in Abu Dhabi (left) & Abu Dhabi Plaza in Astana, Kazakhstan (right) reinterpret the traditional market places with cutting-edge technology.


Khanty Mansiysk in Siberia, another futuristic looking sustainable project.

I have to make a correction- I’ve been referring to Lord Norman Foster as ‘Sir’, when he’s actually a title bigger- that is ‘Lord’. From the number of projects that Lord Foster is doing, it would seem like he would hardly have the time to bother about titles anyway, or would he? Here’re a few more projects by Foster+Partners in three of the biggest boomtowns in the world- the Middle East, China and Russia.

With the word sustainable being used (rather abused) by all and sundry, I would like to know what it really means or doesn’t mean! Futuristic is another over-used term. Perhaps sustainable means futuristic or is it the biggest spiel of 21st century?


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Norman Foster’s Crystal Island in Moscow


Top: Entertainment Centre, Kazakhstan

Below: Crystal Island, Moscow

Is Moscow trying to overtake Dubai as the capital of superlative architecture? I’m not sure where this Russian money has suddenly come from (you’re always hearing stories of Russian billionaires and tycoons flashing their stash of cash) and now they have enlisted none other than Sir Norman Foster to design- get this-the world’s biggest building in Moscow called Crystal Island. Sir Foster has given us a Gherkin, an Armadillo and now critics say he’s designing a ‘dahlia in a string bag’. Other have likened it to a giant Christmas tree, Volcano and space-ship. Crystal Island, meant to be, surprise surprise, a city with in a city and an energy-efficient building (do they build any ‘non-energy efficient’ buildings these days?), covered in a smart-skin to regulate the extremes in temperature. Sir Foster does seem to be pre-occupied with volcanoes these days. Check out his design for a new Entertainment Center in another contestant in the league of flash cities- Kazakhstan. Now beat that Dubai!

Critics in Russia aren’t too pleased with the design. Here’s a story in the Guardian with a few quite hilarious comments. http://arts.guardian.co.uk/art/news/story/0,,2235256,00.html

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Happy New Year


2007 was indeed a wonderfully eventful year in the world of design and art. Here’s hoping that 2008 will be even better. Through this blog I hope to bring more interesting news from Dubai and around the world. Until then keep reading.

 Happy New Year!

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Designworks BMW designs Ecopod


Designworks BMW, the industrial design unit of the German marquee, known for the BMW X5 and Z4 models have designed the latest home recycling gadget the Ecopod. The little portable recycling machine and trash compactor can be used to recycle aluminium cans and glass bottles. Just step on the pedal and it looks a lot more stylish than your average rubbish bin. It’s also a winner of the iF design awards.

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Abu Dhabi in Businessweek


A few days ago, I posted a link from Meteropolis magazine that featured a story on Dubai’s green and sustainable solutions by Stephen Zacks. Now it’s Abu Dhabi’s green and architectural ambitions that make it to Businessweek. Here’re the links.



Masdar is a multi-billion dollar initiative who are also behind next month’s World Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi where Sir Norman Foster will be the keynote speaker. The Pritzker Prize winner is also working on two projects in Abu Dhabi- The Central Souk Project and the Sheikh Zayed National Museum.

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