reclaim luxury refuges
The Charter of Dubai is a future urban vision by SMAQ architecture urbanism research, berlin.
Proposed for the Rotterdam Biennale 2009/10, “it has been drafted at a moment in time when the global real estate market has ground to a halt. Looking around, we find ourselves with the remains of an investment practice that focuses on built premium spaces: malls, business parks, gated communities, retreats, resorts. This document is based on the thesis that the luxury refuges of today will be inevitably reclaimed.
Across the world, these refuges have been confirming the tendency towards the development of a fragmented and socially stratified urbanity, which was pertinently described as splintering urbanism by Stephen Graham and Simon Marvin. […] By manipulating the perimeters and parameters of the refuge, new forms of interdependencies will proliferate. This act of border manipulation also provides gaps, occasions, or potentials to misuse infrastructural networks.
How to turn the refuge from a traditional burgh (a fortified town) into a borough, a quarter that is a functional and thorough part of the urban landscape?
The Palm Jumeirah, also called the Palm Dubai, is not only the most spectacular of upscale refuges but it is also the paradigm: the ultimate diagram in terms of figure, internal organisation and external relations. […] On the Palm, so-called virtual villas have been bought and re-sold ten times before the first stone was laid. Prices tripled and when they suddenly fell, people with no actual interest in using the homes called themselves owners. In the aftermath, what remains of these dysfunctional spectres is the laid-out infrastructure, literally the earthwork, roads, cables, tubes, and building stock.”
[Images> googlemaps and The Charter of Dubai by SMAQ]