From afar, Dubai is the most exciting place on earth, almost every day shaping up to be more like the utopic sci-fi fantasy city we had in our heads growing up. Its latest architectural stuntwork/masterpiece is the 1.5-billion-square-foot Waterfront City designed by Rem Koolhaas, an entire self-contained city resting atop an artificial island that mixes inspirations from ninth-century mosques to Koolhaas's own ideas about the THX 1138-esque generic city.
The island will be divided into 25 identical blocks, which will be populated by a mix of tall and squat towers punctuated by more fantastic buildings, like a spiraling 82-story tower, and a 44-story sphere (trendy now, no?) that will be its own mini-city within a mini-city complete with a sprawling network of escalator tubes (pictured in the gallery). There's also traditional parks and stuff inside to keep it a little more earthly, but every new gargantuan development like this makes us wonder just how far Dubai will push it next. [NYT via io9]