visiondivision: al hakawati (the storyteller), dubai visiondivision: al hakawati (the storyteller), dubai
may 08, 2009

visiondivision: al hakawati (the storyteller), dubai

al hakawati (the storyteller) zaabeel park, dubai image courtesy visiondivision

the thyssenkrupp elevator award was a competition which asked architects to develop an iconic tall emblem structure for zaabeel park in dubai.

for their proposal visiondivision designed a statue based around al hakawati – a storyteller, whose profession that goes way back in ancient arabic times and still is performed in the arabic world today. the statue will be a home of stories; a children’s library in its base and various spaces for performance and reading inside of the statue.

in every part of the park, small speakers will be set up so people can gather around them and listen to the statue when he recites stories; perhaps great legends from one thousand and one night, historical anecdotes from the city itself and future speculations, all this performed with an animated body language.

al hakawati (the storyteller) zaabeel park, dubai image courtesy visiondivision

al hakawati (the storyteller) zaabeel park, dubai image courtesy visiondivision

al hakawati (the storyteller) zaabeel park, dubai image courtesy visiondivision

the statue the walls in the base are stairs on the outside which leads to the platform where the storyteller begins to rise. windows punctuates various stairs for a bright indoor environment without any direct sunlight. the statue also has big rooms inside of it for reading,relaxing and other social activities. each big room has its own theme, be it a gold room, a crystal cavern, a green room or a room full of fish tanks, or the night views of dubai.

al hakawati (the storyteller) – diagram of elevator sections image courtesy visiondivision

technical aspects the statue can move its arms and head; this demands an articulate joint between the elevators and the floors on these critical points. the joints are similar in function to those seen in joint buses, and will guarantee an uninterrupted movement inside of the statue, even if he slightly tilts his head. the arms and head movement is controlled by computers and can mimic a prerecording of an actor for example. the rigid parts of the statue are made out of a steel frame structure with a cover of sheets of steel. the movable parts must be flexible, thus a material like rubber or silicon with a coating that mimic the glossiness of the steel is preferable.

al hakawati (the storyteller) – library floor plan image courtesy visiondivision

al hakawati (the storyteller) zaabeel park, dubai image courtesy visiondivision

al hakawati (the storyteller) zaabeel park, dubai image courtesy visiondivision

gold theme room in the eyeball of al hakawati (the storyteller) image courtesy visiondivision

  • THIS HAS GOT TO BE A F***ING JOKE RIGHT?!!!! WTF!

    AAB says:
  • Well now Skynet will have something to drive around in after it goes sentient at least…

    heavyboots says:
  • This could only happen in Dubai, I really like the movement aspect, wouldn’t mind spending a day in that park! very cool

    Fabio says:
  • probably the worlds coolest (and most crazy) children’s library!!
    I wonder how much this project would cost?
    Probabaly zillions of dollars.

    peterK says:
  • Only in [url=http://www.anadubawi.com] Dubai [/url]!

    Dubai says:
  • thats what happens when yo have whats of money and no taste

    v says:
  • Where did his penis go?

    Jør. says:
  • i like it!! it is like a big djinn or something. maybe the children would be scared though.

    sylver says:
  • oh.very nice.very good

    hajy says:
  • in plan he is falling over backwards
    wouldnt like to be in the room full of fish tanks when that happens

    ck says:
  • talk about ego…. only in dubai!!!

    RQ says:
  • great project!

    hakeem says:
  • nice renders, cool concept

    jmk says:
  • very cool concept.

    dona says:
  • waste of money… Useless piece of crap

    abdul says:
  • A pure waste of money, for sure. I think they could spend their billions of dollars of more important things than a freakin’ huge grandiose talking statue. Future archaeologists will be looking it over and scratching their heads in wonder at why it was ever made.

    Phaota says:
  • this is bonkers. an egregious monument to sexual prurience and androgyny. a colossal display of wealth for its own sake.

    ffs.

    willing foe says:
  • dude this thing looks awesome. who cares about the cash i’m sure their good for it. This will be the first thing the aliens will attack i’m sure.

    tarm says:
  • instead of building a huge effing statue why don’t you FEED PEOPLE

    panda says:
  • Who knew cocaine was so popular in Dubai?

    Larry says:
  • Seriously, everyone needs to wake up and smell the horse manure. Dubai is FLAT BROKE, FYI!! They had to borrow ten Billion dollars from Citibank just to pay for the half-finished road and transport projects. EVERYTHING else (including this pile of crazy) has been cancelled.

    Oh, and NO, Dubai doesn’t HAVE any oil – they never had -it’s the sister state Abu Dhabi that has all the Oil. All Dubai’s ostentatious ‘wealth’ was on burrowed time (and money) and now the banks are foreclosing.

    Yes, I know what I’m talking about. I live there (and have for the last 15 years, since the good old days, when none of you knew Dubai from Timbuktu).

    Science-Dropper says:
  • the end is nigh.

    nils says:
  • If he’s going to be naked, he should really have a penis. If the penis is a problem, he should really have some pants.

    Dace says:
  • Where is his Anus?

    Sun4 says:
  • @Dace

    That’s the maintenance shaft for the rear elevator…

    CA says:
  • It’s Doctor Manhattan!!!!

    Rorschach says:
  • I for one welcome our new overlord

    mancer0 says:
  • its the end of the world.
    people gonna pray to the statue..
    no more pure islamic country..

    astagfirullah says:
  • Mom: Wanna listen to stories at the giant man statue?
    Kids: Mom, its 115, f*ck the hell no.

    anonymous says:
  • boyfriend number 2!!!

    Rahul Manju Goyal says:
  • if they are gonna make something nude, make it complete(w/ p3nis or v4g!na or watever) not just androgynous mass of stupidity…

    considering the fact that majority of the people there have never seen a library in person (maybe they have heard of it), maybe a naked man overlooking them will cause fear n make them realise how stupid an idea this was to start wit…

    Well dubai is the only place which celebrates its lack of money, i’ve seen people turn up for Recession parties (dedicated to people who have lost their jobs and lives etc), wat a way to turn sadness to joy… (not)

    antony laughing at dubai's plight says:
  • waste of money? more like huge opportunity to make money for those that build it. who cares where the money comes from, its yours for the taking. especially if you work hard for it.

    Sure they could feed people. But thats not their problem, they don’t have to do what anyone tells them, and this is not about poor people so stick to the topic.

    I guess the reason its incomplete is really just to make everyone happy… who wants to see a giant penis up in the sky every day? (i’d hate to be the one building that too) and what about artists that don’t include heads and arms? perhaps they wanted the same feel to it.

    Also, this may seem pointless but its a step into the future of form over function. Bring it on!

    Mod. says:
  • It seems a lot of people have totally missed the point of this article. It says that this is a competition entry and specifies nothing about it actually getting built.

    Rather than hurling insults at Dubai, I think you should look at the architects involved here. But I suspect most haven’t read the article at all.

    a.e. says:
  • they should have spent the money on something usefull,
    not a human being, hey wake up people its an islamic country , build the most huge mosque in the world not a human being

    Architect says:
  • stunning project!!!!!!!

    Jonas says:
  • If it does get built, I for one will visit it. I think it’s cool. It would definitely be one of a kind.

    t.b. 05/11/2009 says:
  • i want to party in the gold room!

    jjay says:
  • I met a traveller from an antique land,
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
    And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read,
    Which yet survive stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed;
    .And on the pedestal these words appear:
    ‘My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
    Look on my works. Ye Mighty, and despair!’
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    PB Shelley says:
  • why not a woman?

    xixixixixix says:
  • thank goodness it’s not designed as one of those urinating statues like with the European fountains.

    un says:
  • i dont understand what some of these people here are wining about , i think it is superb. a modern colossus! go dubai!

    FAHRID says:
  • This is some crab some idiot did…. this ain’t never gonna happen in Dubai … 😀 lol

    FYI for the guy who said Dubai took a loan of 10Billion from Citibank<<< Citibank is f**kin broke .. they got nothin to pay their debts, now they have the money to give loans!!!!!????? .... IT IS THE CENTERAL BANK OF THE UAE who bought Dubai bonds for 10Billion Dirhams ..... get ur facts straight ...... u maybe lived here for 15years but u dunno sh*t. peace

    Saif says:
  • This is Dr Manhattan!!!!!!!!!!!! but in green/gray

    az says:
  • Better to build a mosque rather than such silly things

    Shadi Shawqi says:
  • Wow, such an average idea gets so much attention!
    but then i guess you are all experts!?

    P.S.
    [url=http://faqnews.files.wordpress.com/2009/03/dr-manhattan-3.jpg] Dr Manhattan has a penis [/url].
    so it can’t be him!

    Laurie Juspeczyk says:
  • i dont think it is average, i think its f**** sensational!

    Miguel says:
  • be a little open minded folks! nice project!

    mg says:
  • very good project. Even better than some of the emblematic skyscrapers of Dubai.

    More info on Dubai in the [url=http://www.anadubawi.com]Dubai community[/url].

    dubai says:
  • it would be magical to sit in that park and listen to stories! what a nice sunday leisure time! build it dubai!

    ayo says:
  • I fear it will become an IDOL !

    Zaki says:
  • how can on obvious Idolistic image be regrded as cool or no be seen an a dominant signal the new world order is yelling at us ? …Wake up…

    P.B.Dunn says:
  • piece of crap.. this is only to show that the city is promising…go see all the empty units no one to live in after the dramatic weak market dropped down 60% … why not invest in food manufacturing investments (agriculture) instead of importing food from outside … !?!? you have the “remaining” money and good minds to help you..

    صريح جدا says:
  • holy crap!

    I just told all of my friends about it on the [url=http://www.wickedfire.com]gay webmaster forum[/url]

    they’ll love this statue for sure.

    joe budden says:
  • fantastic!

    mirage says:
  • We ( United Arab Emirates ) have the biggest mosque in the world after alhram which is in Abu dhabi … beside stop talking bad about Dubai or how we spend our money .. at least there is no emiraty suffer from poverty as other arabian in other countery … even other nationality who are livening among us have better life than what they have in their country .. no one can deny that .. or why they are keep coming to our great countery

    proud of UAE says:
  • They should add a dong, paint it blue and call it “Dr. Manhattan”

    Teimosia says:
  • I don’t think that is anatomically correct.

    —[url=http://www.chrisgrayson.com]Chris Grayson[/url]

    nice job says:
  • I’ve always wanted Dubai to build a Colossus like this.

    rheinhart says:
  • fascinating..

    kingkong says:
  • stop too see lost dumbass dubai

    oiutiluyk says:
  • love it!

    ck says:
  • LOooooL

    OMFG IT’S REALY UGLY

    geoffrey says:
  • GREAT!!!

    evelyn says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
LOG IN
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

architecture news