While described by The Guardian newspaper as “the biggest picture frame on the planet,” it is also controversial as the “biggest stolen building of all time.”
The project was conceived by Fernando Donis, and was chosen by the Government of Dubai as the winning design.
The designer has alleged that he had his intellectual property stolen and was denied credit for the design.
Dubai Frame Architecture competition
The design was selected as the winner of the 2009 ThyssenKrupp Elevator International Award from 926 proposals.
Participants from all over the world were invited to submit an emblem to promote “the new face for Dubai”.
It is near the Star Gate of Zabeel Park and stands at 150.24 m (493 ft) and 95.53 m wide.
The ThyssenKrupp Elevator Architecture Award is an international architecture competition first held in 1988 and sponsored by one of the world’s leading elevator companies.
An international panel of judges selected the winning idea from 926 design proposals to create a Tall Emblem Structure for Dubai.
The original jury consisted of 11 international architects — a former and current chairman of the International Union of Architects (UIA) and the regional chairman of ThyssenKrupp Elevator.
Dubai Municipality’s director general and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum were listed as ‘honorary’ jurors.
Donis’ design was ultimately selected, for which he won an AED 367329.70 ($100,000) prize.
According to Donis, when designing the structure, he saw Dubai as a city full of emblems and rather than adding another one, they proposed to frame them all: to frame the city.
Instead of building a massive structure, the purpose of the proposal was to create a void of 150 meters by 105 meters to continuously frame the development of the past, current, and future Dubai.
To become the structure that celebrates yet constrains the city.