With the nearing completion of the first Palm island in Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, the plans for the second Palm island, Palm Jebel Ali, are unveiled in more and more detail. The original plan showed an exact copy of the first palm island that was embedded in a ring of houses on stilts that formed a poem, written by H.H. Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid. The poem can be roughly translated as:
Take wisdom only from the wise,
Not everyone who rides a horse is a jockey.
It takes a man of vision to write on water,
Great men rise to great challenges
That sounds quite arrogant.
In time the first plan has been altered significantly. In the new design the palm island has grown bigger, but is now only halfway constructed as an island. The outer half of the palm is built like a pier with houses on stilts. The ring with the poem has become smaller. Originally the poem was written in two lines, it now has become a single line. And the houses on stilts that made up the original characters of the poem have been replaced by floating islands.
These islands are being designed by the Dutch Waterstudio, an architectural firm specialized in floating architecture. Since the islands are situated in what basically is the open sea, they move up and down with the tide. This in contrast to the houses on stilts at the palm that, because of the tide, are built quite high above the water level.
The floating islands they have designed are made of special concrete and are programmed with four different houses, such as the Beach House, or the very cool Bond, James Bond, House. Your Aston Martin has to be parked at the mainland; you have to get to your house by your motorboat or watertaxi. The concrete islands are being planted and can contain pools.
An iconography based on a two-dimensional reference as a linguistic character, or a national flag, is basically an extruded form. In this case the extrusion goes downwards.