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Wed 6 Aug 2008 04:00 AM

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United Nations

Sitting in a boardroom in New York City, surrounded by British and Brazilian colleagues, I listened to developers from America and Australia talk about the new project they're working on in the Middle East.

Sitting in a boardroom in New York City, surrounded by British and Brazilian colleagues, I listened to developers from America and Australia talk about the new project they're working on in the Middle East.

We were a small group of around 12 journalists covering the launch of a single 62-storey tower, but our hosts had gone to great lengths to ensure global coverage. How easily that coverage would come, despite our group's diminutive size, was a bit surreal.

The architectural world is diversifying. These days, it seems that if I wanted to bring together all the relevant players on any major project or development, I would need to arrange transport to and from half of the world's continents.

Trump International Hotel & Tower-the regional case study for the August issue - is just one example of the level of international collaboration that has become the industry norm.

Speaking to wind engineers from America, the United Kingdom, Canada and Germany for this month's feature on wind testing the region's newest generation of supertall skyscrapers, was an exercise in repetition.

To a person, their messages focused on the importance of collaboration between architects, clients, structural engineers and wind engineers from very early stages. It seems supertalls benefit most when people come together, from far away lands, to have a meeting of the minds.

Furthermore, there are few better examples of the camaraderie that develops when nations come together at the Olympic Games.

The award-winning American composer, John Williams, once said of the event, "The Olympics are a wonderful metaphor for world cooperation, the kind of international competition that's wholesome and healthy; an interplay between countries that represents the best in all of us."

This month's international case study illustrates the spectacular by-products of architectural and engineering camaraderie in Beijing.

While the athletes of the Games strain, strive and struggle to become the world's #1, architectural masterpieces like Beijing only happen when the world's best architects and engineers collaborate, not compete, to achieve their very best.

Jeffrey Roberts is the editor of Middle East Architect.

RELATED LINKS:Trunk towers, Going for gold

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