The desert of Dubai provides a dynamic, diverse and growing urban context for the Great Dubai Wheel – a building complex of multiple use with a big observation wheel, a hotel and a shopping mall. The specific challenge consisted in creating a solitary building of iconic identity against the backdrop of many spectacular projects in the immediate surroundings.
The basic idea was that of an oasis in the desert: a lake at its centre, enclosed by beaches, a mall, entertainment and a hotel tower. The latter provides the structure of the observation wheel floating above the lake, combing iconic modernist identity with motifs of the local traditions. The water expanses afford a high-quality atmosphere – despite the adverse climate of Dubai – on a site sheltered from the winds and pleasant in its bio-climatic conditions. The study has translated context and task into a spectacular iconic form in the best sense of these terms.