As part of our new summer series, we will be looking back at some of the most colourful and extraordinary proposals pitched in Dubai and the wider region and investigating what happened to them.
Yesterday, we looked at plans for an underwater tennis stadium pitched by a Polish architect. Today we are looking at the Hollywood actor Brad Pitt.
Pitt’s real estate link to Dubai began in late 2007 when it was reported that the American actor and his then partner Angelina Jolie had bought their own private island within Dubai's ‘The World' development.
Reports later claimed the couple had bought the Ethiopia Island on The World and planned to turn it into a showpiece for environmental issues, with the hope that it would encourage people to live a "greener life".
While the 2007 stories appeared to be just rumours, a few months later bigger plans were announced when it was revealed that the Hollywood heartthrob-turned-architect was part of a team that had partnered with developer Zabeel Properties to design and build an environmentally-friendly hotel in Dubai.
“Whilst acting is my career, architecture is my passion. Selecting this development as my first major construction project has been a simple decision," Pitt was quoted as saying in a statement.
“We will be unveiling precise plans in the next few months, but you can expect something that is not only stunning to look at, but will also be an incredible attraction to visit or stay at."
While the media release said the location of the project will be unveiled in the "near future", things went quiet pretty quickly.
In a bit to realise his passion for architecture, Pitt had teamed up with Graft, a Los Angeles-based architecture firm which also has offices in Berlin and Beijing.
The company’s website still lists two projects in Dubai the company had worked on as part of its partnership with the actor.
Vertical Village (pictured above) is described as “a residential, hotel and entertainment development that harnesses the most powerful renewable energy source in the desert: the sun”.
Another project, the Desert Canyon Resort (images below), was described as the potential new venue for the Dubai film festival.
“The lively mix of theatres, cinemas, restaurants and bars have been organized into an urban canyon that brings people from the street, down into shaded entertainment district, culminating in an enclosed oasis, completely removed from the context of surrounding developments. This canyon space is filled with opportunities to see and be seen and is configured to also function as a single huge venue with a meandering red carpet processional route,” the plans claim.
When contacted by Arabian Business, a spokesperson for Graft was not confident the Pitt-related projects would see the light of day.
“The projects are currently on hold, and we don’t know if they will ever be revived,” she said.
Coming up tomorrow: The Dubai Moving Statue
Check out the other projects in the series:
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