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tvsdesign, Dubai Towers, 2008, Dubai. Rendering.

Bernard Tschumi

tvsdesign, Dubai Towers, 2008, Dubai. Rendering.

With its undulating sculptural form—which can be interpreted as evoking a string of pearls—this building will be one of the city’s most poetic structures. It will also be an example of cutting-edge sustainable design. Its translucent skin will feature a high-performance exterior wall that controls the transfer of heat and light from outside with light-sensor-activated shades. Adding visual excitement to the building skin, revolving photovoltaic panels will harvest solar energy.

—Presentation text of a typical architectural competition project ca. 2008

AT A RECENT INTERNATIONAL architectural competition, a local politician demanded to choose the winning projects himself. A three-minute photorealist computer animation was required from each of the invited competitors. While a technical-review board analyzed each project in depth, the politician barely glanced at its

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