TIME Dubai

Dubai to Build World’s First Temperature-Controlled Indoor ‘City’

In Dubai's latest attempt to cement its place as the economic hub of the Islamic world, Sheik Mohammed announces plans to build the world's first temperature-controlled "city," which will double as the world's largest mall

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Dubai’s ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has unveiled plans for the Mall of the World — a 48 million-sq.-ft. (4.5 million sq m) shopping center, to be the world’s largest, which will also form the world’s first temperature-controlled “city.”

Designed by developers Dubai Holding, the complex will be modeled on the cultural district around New York’s Broadway and Oxford Street in London, and is expected to draw 180 million visitors to the city annually — even during the sweltering 104°F (40°C) summer. (The complex will be opened to the elements during tamer winter months to allow fresh air to circulate.)

“The growth in family and retail tourism underpins the need to enhance Dubai’s tourism infrastructure as soon as possible,” Sheik Mohammed said in a statement. “This project complements our plans to transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the 2 billion people living in the region around us; and we are determined to achieve our vision.”

The ambitious project will include the world’s largest indoor amusement park and shopping mall, 100 hotels and serviced apartment complexes, an entertainment center to host 15,000 people, and a 3 million-sq.-ft. (300,000 sq m) “wellness district” for medical tourism. Buildings in the city will be connected by promenades stretching 4.5 miles (7 km). The plan is Dubai’s latest attempt to mark itself as the economic hub of the Islamic world; the UAE’s most populous city already boasts the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, which stands at 2,722 ft. (829.8 m).

In addition, as countries around the world struggle to reduce their greenhouse emissions, the project could lead the way for environmentally responsible urban planning. Ahmad bin Byat, chief executive officer of Dubai Holding, said in a statement that technology used will “reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint, ensuring high levels of environmental sustainability and operational efficiency.”

The cost and timeline of the project have yet to be released, but it is expected to be a highlight at the UAE World Expo trade fair in 2020.

TIME Design

WATCH: The Science Behind the World’s Biggest Wooden Roller Coaster

Whether you can't get enough of them or can't go near them, roller coasters rely on some pretty nifty tricks of physics and design.

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Your brain wants nothing to do with roller coasters—and for a wonderfully simple reason: your brain would very much like you to stay alive. So anything that’s designed to haul you up to the top of a very steep incline, drop you straight down, very fast, and repeat that process over and over again for a minute or two is something that elicits a simple, highly adaptive response in you—which pretty much involves running away.

That, at least, is how it’s supposed to work, but your entire brain isn’t in on the game. There are also thrill-seeking parts, adventurous parts, parts that like the adrenaline and serotonin and endorphin kicks that come from roller coasters. So while millions of people avoid the things, at least as many millions swarm to them, looking for ever bigger, scarier rides and ever bigger, better thrills. This summer they’ll get their wish, thanks to the opening of the appropriately named Goliath roller coaster, the biggest and fastest wooden coaster ever built, which just took its inaugural runs at the Six Flags Great America amusement park in Gurnee, Ill., about 50 miles north of Chicago.

Goliath is destined to be a tourist magnet, a cultural icon—at least until another, even bigger one comes along—and a lot of fun for a lot of people. But it’s also a feat of engineering and basic physics. And if you’re the kind of person who enjoys that sort of thing while hating the idea of actually ever riding on roller coasters—the kind of person I’ll describe as “me,” for example—there’s a lot to like about Goliath.

Modern roller coasters typically come in two varieties, wooden ones and steel ones—known unimaginatively if unavoidably as “woodies” and “steelies”—and coaster lovers debate their merits the way fans of the National and American Leagues debate the designated hitter rule.

Steelie partisans like the corkscrews and loop-the-loops made possible by the coasters’ bent-pipe architecture. Woodie fans prefer the old school clack-clack and the aesthetics of the entire structure. What’s more, plunging into and soaring through all the wooden bracing and strutwork necessary to keep the thing standing increases the sensation of speed because stationary objects that are close to you when you’re moving at high speed seem to whiz past so fast they blur. Steelies leave you more or less moving through open space, and that eliminates the illusion.

Goliath moves at a top speed of 72 mph, achieving that prodigious feat with the aid of a very simple fuel: gravity. As in all roller coasters, its biggest, steepest drop is the first one, because that’s the only way to generate enough energy to propel you through the rest of the ride—which is made up of steadily shallower hills. In the case of Goliath, that first hill is 180′ tall (55m), or about the equivalent of an 18-story building. The drop is an almost-vertical 85 degrees.

As test pilots and astronauts could tell you, such rising, falling, corkscrewing movement creates all manner of g-force effects. Most of the time we live in a familiar one-g environment. Climb to 2 g’s in a moving vehicle of some kind and you feel a force equivalent to twice your body weight. The maximum g’s Goliath achieves is 3.5. Get on the ride weighing 150 lbs., and for at least a few seconds, you’ll experience what it’s like to weigh 525 lbs.

But g forces can go in the other direction, too. With many roller coasters, the forces bottom out at about 0.2 g’s during downward plunges, meaning your 150 lb. one-g weight plummets to 30 lbs. That can give you a feeling of near-weightlessness. It’s also possible to achieve 0 g in a dive, which is how NASA’s famed “vomit comet” aircraft allow astronauts to practice weightlessness. On the Goliath, things go even further, with riders experiencing a force of minus 1 g.

“That means you’d be coming out of your seat,” says Jake Kilcup, a roller coaster designer and the chief operating officer of Rocky Mountain Construction, which designed and built Goliath. To ensure that that doesn’t happen, the Goliath cars are equipped with both lap bars and seat belts.

Though Goliath is made of wood, it does feature two so-called inversions—or half loops that take you to the top of a climb, then deliberately stall and plunge back down the same way. One includes a “raven turn,” or a twist in the track that turns the cars briefly upside down.

Even this much wouldn’t be possible on a wooden coaster if not for what Rocky Mountain calls its “Topper” track technology—a sort of hybrid of wood and metal. Most of the beams in the Goliath superstructure are made of nine laminated layers of southern yellow pine, steam-bent in stretches that call for curves and then kiln-dried. But the track itself also includes hollow metal rails running the entire 3,100 feet (or nearly a full kilometer) of the ride. The cars all have main wheels that sit on the rails as well smaller upstop and guide wheels that lock the cars to the tracks and keep them going where they’re supposed to.

“The Topper track gives a smoother ride than you get on an all-metal track,” says Kilcip, “and makes the overall roller coaster stronger than an all-wooden one.”

All that technology provides a relatively brief ride—just 87 seconds long, which is not atypical for roller coasters. For plenty of people, that’s way too short—which is what Six Flags is banking on to keep the turnstiles spinning. For plenty of other people, it’s precisely 87 seconds too long. And you know what? I’m not—um, I mean, those people aren’t—the slightest bit ashamed to admit that.

TIME cities

Chicago Is Mad at Donald Trump

Workers install the final letter for a giant TRUMP sign on the outside of the Trump Tower on June 12, 2014 in Chicago, Ill.
Workers install the final letter for a giant TRUMP sign on the outside of the Trump Tower on June 12, 2014 in Chicago, Ill. Scott Olson—Getty Images

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is among the many Chicagoans criticizing the billionaire real estate mogul's decision to put his last name in bright letters on the side of an iconic building

Billionaire real estate investor Donald Trump is drawing jeers from Chicagoans over his decision to emblazon his last name in bright lights on the Windy City’s skyline.

The Trump International Hotel & Tower, a sleek 92-story structure of glass and steel and the 12th-tallest building in the world, opened six years ago in a city that tends to take its architecture seriously. Then Trump installed the five letters of his last name 200 feet above the ground, 20 feet tall in stainless steel and backlit by LED lights.

“The mayor thinks the sign is awful,” a spokesperson for Mayor Rahm Emanuel told the Chicago Tribune Wednesday. “It’s in very poor taste and scars what is otherwise an architecturally accomplished building.” Office spokesperson Kelley Quinn said the mayor’s office is reviewing options for having the sign removed or altered, though, she notes, it “was already reduced in size and scope.”

To the surprise of no living creature, The Donald thinks his sign is “magnificent” and he’s been taking to Twitter to say so.

[Chicago Tribune]

TIME World

Love Can Make a Bridge Collapse

'Love padlocks' attached to a fence of the Pont des Arts bridge over the Seine river in Paris on June 9, 2014.
'Love padlocks' attached to a fence of the Pont des Arts bridge over the Seine river in Paris on June 9, 2014. Jacques Demarthon—AFP/Getty Images

More like a bridge railing, but still

A two-meter segment of the iconic Pont des Arts bridge in Paris was overcome with the weight of love and partially collapsed Sunday night.

The bridge has become famous for “love locks,” a tradition in which people fasten a lock to the bridge and then throw the key into the river as a symbol of eternal love and ironclad commitment. But the locks became too heavy and a portion of the bridge railing buckled under the pressure of so many romantic expectations, France 24 reports.

A part of the bridge collapsed last summer under the weight of the locks, causing many to say the locks pose a safety threat to the thousands of people who walk over the bridge every day or ride under it on ferries. Some are even calling for all the locks to be removed, which means everybody who ever attached a lock to the bridge will instantly break up and fall out of love.

Maybe the bridge just wanted something a little more causal.

TIME architecture

Washington Monument Reopens Almost 3 Years After Quake Damage

The damage to the 130-year-old, 555-foot-tall obelisk from an unusual 5.8-magnitude earthquake in 2011 has taken nearly three years of repairs that have totaled $15 million, half of which was donated by philanthropist David Rubenstein

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The Washington Monument reopened Monday after three years of repairs and restoration following damage from a 2011 earthquake.

The monument was damaged when an unusual 5.8 magnitude earthquake affecting the capital sent vibrations to the very top of the 130-year old iconic obelisk, cracking the marble and sending debris raining down on tourists. Engineers worked for 33 months to restore the 555-foot structure, the Associated Press reports.

The restoration cost $15 million, but $7.5 million was donated by philanthropist David Rubenstein.

“The construction of the Washington Monument began in 1848 when private citizens raised money to build a memorial to honor our nation’s first president, and now it has been repaired thanks in part to the generosity of another private citizen, David Rubenstein, and the efforts of the Trust for the National Mall,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement. “This enduring spirit of public-private partnerships has made it possible for visitors to once again enjoy the Monument and its unmatched view of Washington, D.C.”

Rubenstein told the AP that the monument “symbolizes many things for our country — the freedoms, patriotism, George Washington, leadership. So it’s been moving to see how many people are affected by it.”

TIME Apple

Watch: Video Goes Inside Apple’s Stunning New Headquarters

A new video shows an up-close view of Apple's new home

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A video released Monday and posted on Gizmodo shows the most detailed view yet of Apple’s new corporate campus.

It’s pretty astonishing. Shaped like a perfectly rolled bagel slathered in shiny solar panels, the verdant campus will run on 100% renewable energy, according to Apple vice president Lisa Jackson. The goal is to build a campus that has no net increase in greenhouse gas emissions. And it certainly looks like it descended from a distant future: 80% of the campus will be green space, and with large glass walls, open workspaces, and leafy swaths of forest outside.

The project’s legendary architect, Lord Norman Foster, claims in the video that the campus will ultimately redefine how people socialize and work. The 176-acre campus will house as many as 14,200 employees, Bloomberg reported in 2012, and the main circular building will total 2.8 million square feet.

The video is the first extensive look at the building since Steve Jobs presented the plan to the city of Cupertino in 2011. (That presentation, no surprise, is also pretty incredible.)

[Gizmodo]

TIME

Keep Your Kitten Away From Your Laptop With This Handy Cat Desk 

LYCS Architecture

Solve the blogger’s dilemma: work or cats?

If your cat keeps distracting you from work by sitting on your laptop keyboard or batting at your hands, the CATable, designed by Ruan Hao of Hong Kong’s LYCS Architecture, is the perfect solution. The desk features a smooth workspace on top with a warren of cubby holes just big enough for a kitten to crawl through below.

Cats’ characteristic curiosity is “greatly satisfied through repetitively exploring the unknown path behind the hole,” the designer writes. “It is a table for us, and a paradise for cats.”

It’s the ultimate blogger desk: play with your cat and get some writing done at the same time. When you’re ready for a break, just scoop the feline out and put it back on your lap.

TIME architecture

The Quietly Radical Buildings Of Shigeru Ban

The Pritzker Prize-winning architect fashioned a cathedral out of cardboard, as well as designing more traditional modernist spaces like the Centre Pompidou-Metz

TIME architecture

Japanese Architect Shigeru Ban Wins Pritzker Prize

Shigeru Ban
Courtesy of Shigeru Ban Architects

The 56-year-old architect is known for creating recyclable disaster relief structures, as well as for buildings such as the Center Pompidou-Metz in France, and the Rose Art Museum in Rotterdam, Holland

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban, known for designing disaster relief structures made from cardboard and shipping containers, was named winner of the coveted Pritzker Prize for architecture on Monday. He is the second Japanese architect in a row to win after Toyo Ito won in 2013.

The 56-year-old architect called receiving architecture’s answer to the Nobel Prize a “great honor.” Ban said, “I see this prize as encouragement for me to keep doing what I am doing—not to change what I am doing, but to grow.”

A TIME profile of Ban in 2000 referred to the architect as someone who “wants beauty to be attainable by the masses, even the poorest.” Over the past 20 years, Ban has developed temporary housing units built from cardboard paper tubes in response to disasters around the world. “Refugee shelter has to be beautiful,” Ban told TIME. “Psychologically, refugees are damaged. They have to stay in nice places.”

The architect is also known for more traditional modernist buildings such as the Center Pompidou-Metz in France, and the Rose Art Museum in Rotterdam, Holland. He also designed a new home for the Aspen Art Museum in Colorado, which is due to open in August 2014. The jury citation for the 2014 prize reads, “Where others may see insurmountable challenges, Ban sees a call to action. Where others might take a tested path, he sees the opportunity to innovate.”

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