Five years ago...

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Five years ago this week, the building boom in the United Arab Emirates was in full swing, with architects Foster + Partners, OMA and Jean Nouvel unveiling mind-boggling projects.

Foster + Partners unveiled ambitious proposals for a “zero carbon, zero waste” development in Abu Dhabi to be planned like an ancient walled city (plans were later scaled down and the first phase was completed in 2010) and OMA designed a Death Star-like convention centre for Ras Al Khaimah (which has since been put on hold).

We also revealed the Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre for Abu Dhabi, which one reader thought looked like a "bleak modernist hell", while another declared it "magnificent". The project is currently still under development.

In our ongoing reports from Milan 2007, Andrea Salvetti showed chairs that look like nests, cupboards resembling giant logs, super-sized eggs and a giant filigree mushroom. We also showed our readers what we thought might have been the best new chair from Milan and published a set of bird houses designed to look like little churches.

In London, students from the Royal College of Art exhibited knuckledusters that leave messages on skin, plates for arguing couples to throw at one another and a pair of remote-controlled roller skates.

See all our stories from May 2007 »