Notes on the Geography of The U.A.E. (Dubai): Dubai: Photo 11
Commissioned by the ruler of Dubai and designed by Tom Wright of W.S. Atkins, the Burj Al Arab is a commanding structure, even if you deplore the hype. The floor plan is a V, with rooms along the arms and a concrete spine at the base, facing the water. On the land side, a teflon and fiberglass sail closes the gap of the V and creates a 600-foot-high atrium. The upper-level circular platforms are a restaurant on the water side and a helipad on the land; one critic has compared them to votive offerings, presumably to Mammon.
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