Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Story of... Burj Khalifa

When it comes to tall buildings, nothing comes close to Burj Khalifa.

This Dubai-based skyscraper is one of a kind and holds an incredible amount of world records, mainly to do with its height. Standing at 2,716.5 feet, it’s the tallest building in the world, the tallest free-standing structure in the world, it has the highest number of stories, the highest occupied floor, the highest outdoor observation deck, and the tallest service elevator in the world. Pretty incredible.
The Chicago-based firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP were commissioned to design the building as well as the interior. With a building of this scale, they made sure the design carried a presence on both the UAE and world stage. The base of the building takes after the three-lobed Hymenocallis flower and has 26 tiers which rise from the bottom until they meet the spire up top. The spire is made from more than 4,000 tonnes of structural steel! During construction, it was put together on the inside of the building and was lifted into place using a hydraulic pump.

Construction began on Burj Khalifa in January of 2004 and was completed in September 2009, before it officially opened in January 2010. All 110,000 tonnes of concrete were put to through 40 wind tunnel tests to ensure that the record-breaking building could withstand anything once completed.

On the interior of the building you’ll find space for offices, residential housing, and a hotel. There are 57 elevators, 8 escalators, and over 1000 pieces of art throughout. The artwork on display comes from cultures and communities around the world as a symbol of the building being an international collaboration and icon. The exterior boasts an 11 hectare park that is just as elaborate as the building itself. Broken into three areas - meant to compliment the three purposes the building serves - you’ll find lots of public space, dining areas, play areas, water features and more.

Will we ever see another building as big as or bigger than Burj Khalifa? Only time will tell!

Photos via Daniel Chodusov on Flickr