📘 E-Issue 05 ––VCE Fall 2022
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in VCE
  3. Pop(Corn): UAE National Pavilion
  4. Rapport: Venice
  5. Zeitgeist of our Time: Füsun Onur for the Turkish Pavilion at the 59th Venice Biennale
  6. GAD’s Top Picks: National Pavilions
  7. Strangers to the Museum Wall: Kehinde Wiley’s Venice Exhibition Speaks of Violence and Portraiture
  8. Questioning Everyday Life: Alluvium by Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian at OGR Torino in Venice

📒 E-Issue 04 ––IST Spring 2022
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in IST
  3. Pop(Corn): Refik Anadol
  4. Rapport: Istanbul
  5. Independent Spaces in Istanbul: Sarp Özer on Operating AVTO

E-04++ Spring/Summer 2022
IST 
Creating an Artist Books Library in Istanbul: Aslı Özdoyuran on BAS
HK 
How Pearl Lam Built Her Gallery Between China and Europe
UAE
What’s On in the UAE: Our Top Summer Picks
DXB Art Jameel Joins The World Weather Network in a Groundbreaking Response to Global Climate Crisis
DXB “Geometry is Everywhere”: An Interview and Walking Tour of Order of Magnitude, Jitish Kallat’s Solo Exhibition at Dubai’s Ishara Art Foundation
DXB 
“We Are Witnessing History”: Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian On Their Retrospective Exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery
IST
 Istanbul’s 5533 Presents Nazlı Khoshkhabar’s “Around and Round”
HK Startbahn Presents “Made in Japan 3.0: Defining a New Phy-gital Reality”, an NFT Pop-Up at K11 Art Mall
DXB Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models
📘 E-Issue 03 –– TYO Fall 2021
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in TYO
  3. Pop(Corn): Nimyu
  4. Ahmad The Japanese: Bady Dalloul on Japan and Belonging
  5. Rapport: Tokyo 
  6. Alexandre Taalba Redefines Virtuality at The 5th Floor
  7. Imagining Distant Ecologies in Hypersonic Tokyo: A Review of “Floating Between the Tropical and Glacial Zones”
  8. Ruba Al-Sweel Curates “Garden of e-arthly Delights” at SUMAC Space
  9. Salwa Mikdadi Reflects on the Opening of NYU Abu Dhabi’s Arab Center for the Study of Art

E-03++ Fall/Winter 2021-22
DXB 
Art Dubai Digital, An Alternative Art World?
DXB 
Must-See Exhibitions in Dubai - Art Week Edition 2022
DXB
Prepare The Ingredients and Let The Rest Flow: Miramar and Zaid’s “Pure Data” Premieres at Satellite for Quoz Arts Fest 2022
TYO
 Akira Takayama on McDonald’s Radio University, Heterotopia, and Wagner Project
AUH Woman as a Noun, and a Practice: “As We Gaze Upon Her” at Warehouse421
AAN The Labor of Art and the Art of Labor: Christopher Benton on His First Exhibition in Al Ain
IST “Once Upon a Time Inconceivable”: A Review and a Conversation
RUH Misk Art Institute’s Annual Flagship Exhibition Explores the Universality of Identity
RUH HH Prince Fahad Al Saud Discusses Saudi Arabia’s Artistic Renaissance
DXB
Engage101 Presents “Connected, Collected” at Sotheby’s Dubai

📕 E-Issue 02
––
NYC Spring 2021
  1. Editor’s Note
  2. What’s On in NYC
  3. Pop(Corn): Zeid Jaouni
  4. You Can Take The Girl Out Of The City 
  5. Rapport: NYC
  6. Kindergarten Records Discuss The Future of Electronic Music
  7. Sole DXB Brings NY Hip-Hop To Abu Dhabi
  8. Wei Han Finds ‘Home’ In New York
  9. Vikram Divecha: Encounters and Negotiations

E-02++ Spring/Summer 2021
DXB “After The Beep”: A Review and Some Reflections
OSA Rintaro Fuse Curates “Silent Category” at Creative Center Osaka
AUH “Total Landscaping”at Warehouse 421
TYO “Mimicry of Hollows” Opens at The 5th Floor
TYO Startbahn, Japan’s Leading Art Blockchain Company, Builds a New Art Infrastructure for the Digital Age
DXB There Is A You In The Cloud You Can’t Delete: A Review of “Age of You” at Jameel Arts Centre
BAH Mihrab: Mysticism, Devotion, and Geo-Identity
LDN Fulfilment Services Ltd. Questions Techno-Capitalism on Billboards in London
DXB Ana Escobar: Objects Revisited
TYO BIEN Opens Two Solo Exhibitions in Island Japan and Parcel
CTU/AUH/YYZ Sabrina Zhao: Between Abu Dhabi, Sichuan, and Toronto
RUH Noor Riyadh Shines Light on Saudi Arabia’s 2030 Art Strategy
DXB A Riot Towards Landscapes
DXB A ‘Menu Poem’ and All That Follows
DXB Alserkal Art Week Top Picks 
DXB Permeability and Regional Nodes: Sohrab Hura on Curating Growing Like a Tree at Ishara Art Foundation
AUH Re-viewing Contrasts: Hyphenated Spaces at Warehouse421
DXB There’s a Hurricane at the Foundry

📙 E-Issue 01 –– AUH/DXB Summer 2020 
  1. Editor’s Note 
  2. What’s On in the UAE
  3. Pop(Corn): Hashel Al Lamki
  4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi
  5. Rapport: Dubai 
  6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora

E-01++ Fall/Winter 2020-21
GRV MIA Anywhere Hosts First Virtual Exhibition of Female Chechen Artists    
DXB Sa Tahanan Collective Redefines Home for Filipino Artists
SHJ Sharjah Art Foundation Jets Ahead on the Flying Saucer
AUH SEAF Cohort 7 at Warehouse 421 
DXB 101 Strikes Again with Second Sale at Alserkal Avenue
DXB Spotlight on Dubai Design Week 2020
DXB Melehi’s Waves Complicate Waving Goodbye
DXB Kanye Says Listen to the Kids: Youth Takeover at Jameel Arts Centre
DAM Investigating the Catalogues of the National Museum of Damascus
AUH Ogamdo: Crossing a Cultural Highway between Korea and the UAE
TYO James Jarvis Presents Latest Collages at 3110NZ
DXB Do You See Me How I See You?
DXB Thaely Kicks Off Sustainable Sneakers
AUH BAIT 15 Welcomes New Member Zuhoor Al Sayegh
MIA a_part Gives Artists 36 Hours to React

UAE Tawahadna Introduces MENA Artists to a Global Community
LHR/CAI Alaa Hindia’s Jewelry Revives Egyptian Nostalgia
DXB Taaboogah Infuses Comedy Into Khaleeji Menswear
DXB Meet Tamila Kochkarova Behind ‘No Boys Allowed’
DXB Alserkal Arts Foundation Presents Mohamed Melehi
AUH/DXB 101 Pioneers Ethical and Curious Art Collecting
AUH Sarah Almehairi Initiates Conversations
DXB Augustine Paredes Taking Up Space
LHR/MCT Hanan Sultan Rhymes Frankincense with Minimalism
BEY GAD Map: Arts & Culture Relief for Beirut

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Dubai's Postmodern Architecture: Constructing the Future with 3dr Models


By Global Art Daily’s Editorial Board

Published on March 28, 2022

PARTNER CONTENT

        There are few instances in human history where a collective vision has materialized in such a robust and dynamic way as in Dubai. The city has become over the course of this quarter-century a byword for futurism, but also a place where visions of tomorrow can be experienced today. With the recent opening of the Museum of the Future in Dubai’s iconic financial center (DIFC), a brainchild of the Dubai Future Foundation and architect Shaun Killa, of Killa Design, the museum opened on February 22, 2022 with a permanent exhibition “human technology and creative thinking.” Located next to Emirates Towers, a landmark of Dubai’s skyscrapers horizon and historic tower completed in 1999, the Museum of Future stands as a visual representation of a larger phenomenon: the focus on constructing Dubai as an aggregation-city, one where masterpiece architectural prowesses meets masterplans, with an eternal push towards a better future. 



“The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it.”

- HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum


1. Museum of the Future model by 3dr Models. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.

To understand Dubai’s global impact on 21st-century architecture, it is important to note the regional context from which this city has emerged. Dubai, and the United Arab Emirates at large, have played a crucial role in injecting economic drive and a sense of futurism in the whole Middle East since the 1980s, but especially since the 2000s. Many leading architects and urban developers from the Levant, Egypt, and the Gulf, have flocked to the UAE to realize their utmost dream: constructing a city that would showcase Arab identity with truly international visibility. As a microcosm of futuristic architecture, Dubai emerged as a hub for the best-and-tallest towers. The Burj Khalifa, Burj Al-Arab, and Palm Jumeirah might resonate globally as images of Dubai, but their visual impact can be said to represent much of the Arabian Gulf and the Middle East at-large in the minds of many tourists worldwide. This feeling of hope, drive, and endless possibilities is best exemplified by the quote of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, prominently featured at the entrance of the Museum of the Future: “The future belongs to those who can imagine it, design it, and execute it.” This same quote is indeed sculpted in Arabic calligraphy on the facade of the Museum of the Future, a majestic vision that can be best appreciated at night. This building is indeed another example of anchoring Dubai’s futuristic vision in the tradition of the Arabic language –  a monument to celebrate the successes of this region for the world to see.

We sat down with Founder and CEO of 3dr Models, Dani Antoun Bterrani. Mr. Bterrani is at the head of the largest model-making company in the world since 3dr Models’ merger with China-based company RJ Models. With a studio and offices located in Al Quoz, Mr. Bterrani oversees the construction of models that are used at all stages of Dubai’s architectural processes: from initial ideas to client pitches, to public reveals, and sales centers exhibitions. With a client base that spans the biggest names of Dubai’s real-estate developers and a team of 650 model-making technicians worldwide, Mr. Bterrani has seen the city develop under a microscope since 1989, the year he founded 3dr Models. We had the opportunity to ask him about his vision of Dubai’s architecture, the relationship between model-making and architecture, and the favorite model project he has ever worked on.

2. Portrait of Dani Antoun Bterrani, CEO of 3dr Models. Courtesy of 3dr Models.


Dubai is truly a heaven for architects.

- Dani Antoun Bterrani, CEO of 3dr Models


Global Art Daily: As CEO of 3dr Models, what does it mean to be surrounded by the images of the future? What does it do? How do models help us project ourselves into a space that doesn’t exist yet?

Dani Antoun Bterrani: One of the best architects in the world, Norman Foster, spoke about model-makers. “You have to start your vision as an architect at the model shop,” he said in one of his talks. Only when you build a model can you have an entire, 360-vision of the building’s superstructure and its relationship to its immediate environment.

As a model-maker, the beauty of our job is that we see what is in the pipeline for tomorrow. We know about major projects before they are built. I cannot disclose a lot, but I can say that what you have seen so far of Dubai is only 10% of what this city has in mind.


I cannot disclose a lot, but I can say that what you have seen so far of Dubai is only 10% of what this city has in mind.



The slowdown in real-estate development might be felt by some people, but this is part of the city’s long-term vision. The buildings they have planned require better construction technology. Take Zaha Hadid for example, the technology was not there when she first started to draw her signature curved architecture. But now, it is. Our architects and city planners are waiting for the technology to appear, but the ideas are already there.

I personally feel that, compared to other cities of the MENA region, Dubai is 20 years ahead of everyone else. Other cities will need another 20 years to reach what Dubai’s skyline looks like today.

3. Views of 3dr Models’ studio. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.


Other cities [in the MENA region] will need another 20 years to reach what Dubai’s skyline looks like today.



GAD: 3dr Models constructed the model for the Museum of the Future. Do you think this building is a true reflection of Dubai’s story?

D.A.B.: What Dubai has offered cannot be compared to any other city in the world. Dubai’s architectural boom emerged because [this city’s leadership] only hired the best of the best. The instruction from the rulers has always been simple: “don’t interfere.” This is what made the city look like what it is today: monumental, majestic, chic, and globally acclaimed. When architects wanted to build iconic buildings, the rulers did not interfere. They let them create. That sense of total trust freed their minds to create truly special structures.


The instruction from the rulers has always been simple: “don’t interfere.”



As a model-maker, I tend to work with the same famous architects who have multiple projects in different parts of the world. They all agree that their projects look much better in Dubai than anywhere else. In other cities, where authorities might interfere, turning them more into draftsmen, hired to execute a vision, rather the true artist-architects that they are. Dubai is an architectural playground. This has never happened in the history of the world. Dubai is truly a heaven for architects.


4. Views of 3dr Models’ studio. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.



As a model-maker, I tend to work with the same famous architects who have multiple projects in different parts of the world. They all agree that their projects look much better in Dubai than anywhere else.



GAD: After client presentations, are 3dr Models exhibited or stored in warehouse facilities? Do you find it important to keep the 3D models, and would you ever consider making an exhibition of your models’ collection?

D.A.B.: We have three warehouses, full of storage facilities for models. They are all air-conditioned, numbered, and categorized for each client. The normal lifespan of a model depends on whether they are made for His Highness or for our real estate developers' clients. If a model is rejected at the stage of idealization, its life cycle ends. But if it is approved, it later goes to our clients’ sale centers for usually for 2 years – until they sell the project. After that, they tend to store the models.

Here at our offices, we tend to keep sentimental models. Zaha Hadid’s beautiful projects for example – many memories emerge from looking at a model.

5. Top: The Opus by Omniyat, designed by Zaha Hadid. Model by 3dr Models. Image courtesy of 3dr Models. Bottom: Zaha Hadid’s Tokyo Olympics stadium, model by 3DR Models. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.

GAD: What is not shown in a model? More specifically, what can a model not account for? How do you manage these limitations and constraints, and how does the model develop over the course of a project’s life from initial idea to launch?

D.A.B.: I always set myself new challenges and new goals to produce the best models. I tend to push limits. I was the first one to light up cars and buildings for example. I got that inspiration from looking out the window of an airplane, cruising down Dubai at night.

To people to say that digital renders are nicer to look at than 3D models, I strive to prove them wrong. Thanks to an incredible focus on detail, including interiors of buildings, decorations, figurines, and cars, models are often more pleasant to look at than digital rendering. For me, lighting is the most important aspect. You can make something look incredibly powerful thanks to dramatic lighting. I see it as a domino effect.


To people to say that digital renders are nicer to look at than 3D models, I strive to prove them wrong.



Normally, people look at an upcoming project from a bird’s eye view perspective. But we wanted to go down to the street level. When the building is at completion, you don’t look at it from the top-down. You experience it from the bottom up. Because we place our models at eye’s level and sometimes enlarge the scale from 1-500 to 1-300, we offer architects another way to experience their plans and drawings.

6. Views of 3dr Models’ studio. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.

GAD: What was your favorite project you ever worked on?

D.A.B.: Personally, I would have to say Hatta [exclave of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, high in the Hajar Mountains and south of Dubai]. What is coming up in Hatta is something really, really interesting. We built a huge model for it.

In Dubai, we lacked this concept of the countryside. Usually, where I come from, next to a large city is the countryside, where people might go to on weekends and enjoy a slower pace of life, surrounded by farms, lakes, and greenery. Hatta gave us the countryside. It was envisioned and designed to be a getaway from Dubai’s busy bustle. It truly is a unique project, that will add real value to our lifestyles.


What is coming up in Hatta is something really, really interesting. We built a huge model for it.



I also have to mention the Museum of the Future, which we have worked on from the very start. We started at the pre-concept stage 7 years ago. It is a blessing to see it come to life today.

Dubai Harbor is a very unique project as well. What you see is only a fraction of what the entire project will end up looking like.

Finally, JBR [Jumeirah Beach Residence, a 1.7 kilometres long, 2 square kilometres waterfront community and residential development containing 40 towers]. I remember JBR when it used to be a parking lot. His Highness directly went there and said we could not make a parking lot right on the beach. This had to be developed, it is a prime location. They came to us to make the model.


7. Views of 3dr Models’ studio. Dubai. Photography by Amir Hazim for Global Art Daily, 2022.



Learn more about 3dr Models here
Follow 3dr Models on Instagram


3dr Models, established in 1989 by Lebanese national Dani Antoun Bterrani, specializes in all kinds of miniature models (Architectural, Mechanical, Marine and Industrial models) as well as transportation, modification and storage. 3dr Models currently have 18% of the world’s model making market, with over 400 professional model makers and a production of over 40 models per month. The company has set foot on more than 30 countries and over 70 cities in almost every region of the world including Asia, Europe, South America and Africa. Some of the big projects 3dr Models designed are models for Hong Kong & Beijing Airport, the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai, One World Trade Center Tower in New York City, and Egypt's plans for a new capital city.

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This article was supported by 3dr Models.