A rallying economy led the United Arab Emirates cities of Abu Dhabi and Dubai through a six-year building boom that transformed sand dunes into futuristic cityscapes boasting the world’s tallest building, biggest shopping mall, and The World, a man-made archipelago in the shape of the seven continents. While the building frenzy has largely been tamed by the international economic crisis, the projects it engendered have significantly expanded the vocabulary of contemporary architecture.

Sheik Zayed Road (view of the traffic and metro station exterior), Dubai. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Sheik Zayed Road (view of the traffic and metro station exterior), Dubai. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

In their most recent Artstor-sponsored campaign, Art on File photographers Colleen Chartier and Rob Wilkinson documented state-of-the-art projects in Dubai such as Burj Khalifa (Skidmore, Owings and Merrell), the world’s tallest building;  the Meydan Racecourse (TAK architects), the longest building in the world; the Burj al-Arab (Tom Wright of Atkins), a hotel constructed on an artificial island; the Dubai Marina (Emaar Properties), a man-made marina district; and the Rose Tower (Khatib & Alami Group), the world’s tallest building used exclusively as a hotel. In Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Chartier and Wilkinson photographed the new Sheikh Zayed Mosque (Yousef Abdelki, architect, and Halcrow Group, engineers), an enormous project that can accommodate up to 44,000 people for prayer sessions, and the Yas Hotel (Asymptote Architects), which features a Formula One racetrack that passes through the hotel, and a net-like roof consisting of thousands of light panels that change colors. Other buildings in the new campaign include Capital Gate (RMJM Architects), the largest leaning tower in the world, Al Jazira Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium, and the new Ferrari World (Benoy Architects), a low undulating design with a roof surface of 200,000 sq. meters still under construction. See the Art on File collection in the Digital Library: http://library.artstor.org/library/collection/artonfile

Capital Gate (RMJM Architects), Abu Dhabi. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Capital Gate (RMJM Architects), Abu Dhabi. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Art on File’s UAE collection joins more than 300,000 images of architecture and the built environment in the Digital Library. Explore everything from archaeological sites such as Rome’s Colosseum in the Italian and other European Art (Scala Archives) collection or the Parthenon on the Acropolis in the Art, Archaeology and Architecture (Erich Lessing Culture and Fine Arts Archives), to modern masterpieces such as Gaudí’s Sagrada Familia in Contemporary Architecture, Urban Design and Public Art (Art on File Collection) or architectural models by Le Corbusier in The Museum of Modern Art, Architecture and Design Collection.

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club (Godwin Austen Johnson, architects). Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club (Godwin Austen Johnson, architects). Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Browse more than 50 collections focused on architecture,  including Sites and Photos: archaeological and architectural sites in the Middle East and Europe (30,037 images); Mellon International Dunhuang Archive: Buddhist cave shrines in Dunhuang, China (72,00 images and 24 QTVR files); American Institute of Indian Studies: Indian art and architecture (60,000 images); Columbia University’s QTVR Panoramas of World Architecture (1,280 files); MoMA Architecture and Design: 20th century architectural drawings and models (6,949 images);  Ezra Stoller Archive (Esto): Modern architecture (14,548 images); Canyonlights World Art Image Bank: Archaeological and architectural sites in the United States and Europe (4,500 images); and SAHARA: Society of Architectural Historians Architecture Resources Archive (8,991 images).

Dubai Metro (Aedas, architects). Image provided by Art on File.

Dubai Metro (Aedas, architects). Image provided by Art on File.

In addition, search “QTVR” to discover nearly 1,300 QTVR Panoramas of World Architecture from Columbia University, including sites such as the Doge’s Palace in Venice or temples and shrines in Kyoto.

Yas Hotel & Marina (Asymptote Architecture), Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Yas Hotel & Marina (Asymptote Architecture), Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. Image and original data provided by Art on File.

Learn more about the Contemporary Architecture, Urban Design and Public Art (Art on File Collection) and download Artstor’s Subject Guide on Architecture and the Built Environment (PDF: 300 KB).

Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club (Godwin Austen Johnson, architects). Image and original data provided by Art on File.