Dubai is building its craziest tower yet – and it’s set to open at the end of this year. The “picturesque” skyscraper is essentially a gigantic gold-plated picture frame with an observatory that offers stunning views Dubai’s skyline. The 492-foot-tall Dubai Frame is nearly complete, however its design is mired in controversy.
The Dubai Frame will be located in the city’s beloved Zabeel Park, and it’s expected to attract nearly 2 million tourists annually. Construction is currently underway, however the unique skyscraper has been struck by a massive lawsuit. Architect Fernando Donis has filed an Intellectual Property claim against Dubai Municipality stating that the city stole his design.
After beating out 900 other concepts, Donis’ design was chosen as the winner of an international design competition, which was hosted by Dubai Municipality and ThyssenKrupp Elevator in 1998. After winning the competition, however, the architect and the city failed to agree on contractual terms to construct the building. Apparently that didn’t stop the city from taking the design as its own and forging ahead with construction.
Work on the Dubai Frame began in 2014. Although the current design is notably flashier, the building is extremely similar to Donis’ prize-winning concept. Donis explained to CNN that the picture frame structure is “the same height, it’s very much the same width, the location is exactly the same and the name is even mine.”
So far, the Dubai Municipality has not yet responded to claims that it has breached intellectual property laws.
Images via Donis Architecture