Carsten Witte Reimagines Dubai’s Skyscrapers as Monolithic Architecture

All images by Carsten Witte. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Dubai is home to some of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers in modern times, making it a prime playground for architectural photography. While the possibilities and ideas for portraying these buildings are endless, Hamburg-based photographer Carsten Witte presented an interesting perspective with his straightforward architectural photography in the city.

In a set he interestingly calls Desert Tombstones, Carsten emphasizes the stateliness of Dubai’s skyscapers, both in their size and their ultra modern design. Each building he photographed stands tall as a symbol of the city’s stunning architecture, rivaled only by a few in the world. Each also has their own distinct features, shapes, and patterns that are interesting to explore and capture as urban geometry studies.

With their sheer height, the most obvious choice was to depict them as monolithic monuments, just as Carsten pictured them for this set. “Monumental architecture in the middle of nowhere,” he even describes. Indeed, each skyscraper seems to be carved out of single, massive slabs of concrete, adorned with glass and metal in hypnotic shapes and patterns. He also made sure to capture every intricate detail that makes each building a sight to behold, including their graceful form and jagged silhouettes.

The strength of Desert Tombstones does not only lie in Carsten’s outstanding photography and eye for detail. It also makes a creative documentation of Dubai’s luxurious, vibrant, and state-of-the-art architecture scene. Many may be familiar with the affluent city’s fascination for mind-blowing architecture through more well-known buildings like the Burj Khalifa (still the world’s tallest building) or the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab. But with this set, we see a handful more that are worth ogling at. My favorites are the squiggly Orra Marina and the Al Rostamani Maze Tower: I could stare at those all day.

Don’t forget to check out Carsten Witte’s Behance portfolio and website to see the entire Desert Tombstones set, as well as his other outstanding photography projects. Actually, he’s also a great portrait photographer!