Is this what they mean by master planning?

People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Sadly, the inhabitants of gold-coloured tulip-shaped buildings cannot expect the same courtesy to be extended. It comes with the territory. You live in a small semi-detached villa in the suburbs, with a picket fence and some garden gnomes, people will leave you alone.

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By  Sean Cronin Published  May 6, 2006

|~||~||~|People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Sadly, the inhabitants of gold-coloured tulip-shaped buildings cannot expect the same courtesy to be extended. It comes with the territory. You live in a small semi-detached villa in the suburbs, with a picket fence and some garden gnomes, people will leave you alone. You live in a great big golden tulip-shaped high-rise, in the middle of a 5km-long palm tree-shaped island, that is built on sand, then you’re going to get the odd projectile lobbed at you. Nakheel unveiled the Tulip design for the Trump International Hotel and Tower back in October last year. It was to have been the replacement for the super-tall structure originally intended to occupy the centrepiece of the development, which was subsequently moved to the Dubai Waterfront development and re-named Al Burj. But just six months after the Tulip was unveiled, its ashes have already been scattered over the same architectural memorial park where the remains of Chess City rest in peace. The Tulip idea was canned for a number of reasons. One of them was that the building’s owner would have had to hire a team of acrobats from Cirque du Soleil to get the buildings’ windows cleaned every month — such were the challenges involved in negotiating its bulbous surfaces. And in the event of an earthquake, the petal-shaped elevations of the building would have been about as stable as Donald Trump’s bouffant on the balcony of a Florida hotel in hurricane season. But perhaps a more insurmountable problem was that it was located smack bang in the middle of the island — a space that was supposed to be occupied by the Palm Monorail. Not a problem. We’ll just cut a monorail-shaped hole through the bottom of the building and drive it right through. It can be a feature. This is the issue I have when I hear developers talking about ‘master planning’. It doesn’t adequately describe the process of frantically launching and abandoning random building designs in order to meet unrealistic project timetables, which are themselves extensions of even more unrealistic project timetables. It seems incredible that it has taken just a few months to come up with the centrepiece for such an important project as Palm-Jumeirah that has been five years in the making. Happily, the building that Nakheel has chosen to replace the Tulip does look rather impressive — so not much scope for stone-throwing there. But does life have to be this complicated?||**||

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