A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

from New York to infinity

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on March 30, 2007

Open Skies, Emirates’ Airline’s in-flight magazine, was filled with advertisements for the many luxury high-rises currently under construction in Dubai.

I was enjoying paging through them, marveling at the array of necessary luxuries (maids’ quarters, bellmen) and the building names (Elite and Prestige are my favorite), when I saw this one:

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and caught my breath.

If you were a New Yorker five and a half years ago, you know this building.

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill designed this building as the replacement for the World Trade Center.

It arches gracefully to the sky; and is lyrical without being sentimental.

After being accepted, plans for its construction were shelved after late-breaking concerns about its ability to withstand another September 11 attack. At the time, people speculated that safety concerns were merely an excuse to prevent the erection of a building whose arc reminded some of the way the twin towers crumpled before they fell.

I loved the building’s design; when it was subsequently taken up by Dubai real estate development firm Cayan as the Infinity Tower I had extremely mixed feelings.

On the one hand, the design should be realized. On the other, … this building for me has a very personal meaning.

I have seen renderings of it here and there, and each time I feel the same puncture; the same suck of air from my lungs.

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