Etisalat Tower

The cities of the Middle East are sometimes accused of adopting subaltern western modern architecture instead of maintaining their own Islamic identity. That may be a righteous criticism of considerable buildings in Dubai, but the telecommunications headquarters building and radio tower designed by Arthur Erickson, the Canadian architect, is a distinguished design that is considered as an exception from this criticism.

Erickson is raised in British Columbia in the United States of America, and he is a surprisingly rootless architect who has enjoyed travelling to many countries from the Middle East region since the fifties of the previous century and designed many distinguished original glass-and-concrete geometries around the whole world with notably little constraint of a harmonized house style. Erickson said: "I am fortunate that I can stand in Canada, a country without a culture, and look at the world. When I am given a project... I can say, "What is its essence? How can I extract something pertinent for today?"

The other Canadians respect and value Erikson for his works in the field of architecture, however they do not consider his point of view in this issue seriously.

The Dubai tower is mainly designed according to an unimplemented design by Erickson that is done for the Christ Church Cathedral that is located in Vancouver in 1973, which contains a steel and glass tower with an identical geometry of glass prism at the apex. In Dubai the declining glass sets off the unique radome "golf ball" having the antennas of Etisalat's radio.

Erickson made another design at the same time for Etisalat's office building and tower that is located in Abu Dhabi, with a similar type of designing, but by connecting the "golf ball", and other balls are already added to other Emirates afterwards. The towers of the "golf ball" are lightened with fair connected white lights in the night, that have turned into a symbol of Etisalat in the United Arab Emirates. Another higher Etisalat building has lately been constructed in Dubai, close to the Emirates Towers, once again with the signature golf ball. The equipment from Erickson's original designs – the dark glass with green glazing, and reddish stone coverage - is utilized continuously in various distinguish styles of the building of Etisalat around the United Arab Emirates- as a form of branded architecture.

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