Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Tallest Building In The World

On Monday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum celebrated his fourth anniversary as leader of Dubai. It should have been a perfect day: With celebrations and fanfare, the emir honored the occasion by dedicating the Burj Dubai, the latest architectural jewel in the city's crown and the world's tallest building. Yet, even amidst the massive display of fountains and fireworks, strobe lights and TV screens, Dubai's recent economic woes took center stage.
Burj Dubai is the tallest man-made structure in the world. Its height is 2,717 ft. Surpassing the KVLY-TV Tower in North Dakota as well as Warszawa Radio Mast, the previous tallest structure ever built. Engineers working on the design considered installing triple-decker elevators, which would have been the first in the world. In fact, the realized building uses double-decker elevators. The condensation water collected from the A/C system equals to 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools per year and in turn, used for landscaping. Over 330,000 cubic meters of concrete and 31,400 metric tonnes of steel rebar was used at the completion of the tower. The tower is situated on a man-made lake which is designed to wrap around the tower and to provide dramatic views of it. The top of the building contains a public observation deck and a private club above that. Burj Dubai features sky lobbies on levels 43, 76 and 123. These spaces offer fitness and spa facilities. The lobbies on levels 43 and 76 each have a swimming pool and a recreational room for receptions and other gatherings.
The triple-lobed footprint of the building is based on an abstracted desert flower native to the region.
A subtle reference to the onion domes of Islamic architecture can be found in the building's silhouette when looking up at the lobes from near the base. Although the building's shape resembles the bundled tube concept of the Willis Tower, it is structurally very different and is technically not a tube structure. "Burj" is Arabic for "Tower". The highest residential floor will be level 109. An observation deck will occupy the 124th floor. The building was rotated 120 degrees to allow for less stress from the prevailing winds.

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