Plan and descriptive sections
The Burj Khalifa is a skyscraper located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; with 828 meters high. It is currently the tallest structure on record in history. The Burj Khalifa is the central part of a development known as Downtown Dubai, a 2 km² complex located next to Sheikh Zayed Avenue, which crosses the city of Dubai.
The construction began on January 6, 2004, with its official inauguration on January 4, 2010. It is named after the Sheikh and President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan.
The lead writing architect for the project is Adrian Smith, who worked alongside Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. The construction of the Burj Khalifa had an estimated budget of more than $ 4 billion, which was increased to $ 20 billion for the full development of Downtown Burj Khalifa.
Initially, the Burj Khalifa was to be called «Grollo Tower» and was going to be 570 meters high, enough to make it the tallest building in the world, and it was going to be located in Australia. The shape of the skyscraper had nothing to do with the current design and its design consisted of a prism with an illuminated tip.
Later, it was decided to increase the height of the building to more than 600 m. Once located in the city of Dubai, its designer and creator decided that the height of the skyscraper was going to exceed 700 m. It was then that the model that is currently known was created. The height was kept secret, but it was estimated between 800 and 820 m. The final height was never revealed, but during the time of its construction it was calculated that it should be 818 m, this fact being denied when the building reached its maximum height, about 828 m.
Dubai held a design competition inviting prestigious architects to design this skyscraper. The winning design was developed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, designers of the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) and other buildings.
The design of this tower has two main sources of inspiration:
- The project for a one-mile (1,609 m) high skyscraper.
- The six-petal white Hymenocallis grown in the Dubai region and India. Taking this flower as an inspiration, the base of the Burj Khalifa consists of a Y, composed of arches based on the domes of Islamic architecture
- The base of the building has a core and three lateral sections that protrude from it. These wings or side sections each rise to a different height and make the structure of the building narrower. The height to which each section of the wings rises forms a spiral staircase heading to the left, which surrounds the building and serves to counteract the strong winds and the many sandstorms of Dubai. The effectiveness of this design was corroborated by more than 40 tests in a wind tunnel, which supported its adequate operation.
- From the last mechanical level of the Burj Khalifa, located more than 500 m high, the wings end and only the core of the building remains, which is subdivided until it ends in an antenna
- The structure of the building is made of reinforced concrete up to the 156th floor (586 m high). From the 156th floor, the plants are made of steel, which makes them lighter
- The foundation of this building is the largest ever built. It is made up of an innovative concept based on geotechnical and seismic studies: the building is supported in the first instance by an immense reinforced concrete slab almost 4 meters thick, totaling 12,500 m³. This plate in turn is supported by a system composed of 192 piles of 1.5 m diameter at its base by 43 m. deep
- The building’s façade is completely upholstered by more than 26,000 very high-performance glass panels in the hermetic double-glazed format composed of an exterior glass with high solar control that rejects much of the radiant solar heat, and an interior low-emissive glass. , in such a way that the hermetic double glass has a very high performance energy efficiency, which significantly reduces energy consumption and air conditioning costs for the entire interior of the building. These double-glazed units are capable of withstanding wind gusts of up to 250 km / h and cover a glazed area of approximately 170,000 m².
For the interior design, the famous designer Nada Andric was hired, who combined the use of glass, stainless steel, polished stones, stucco walls, handcrafted textures and rock floors, drawing inspiration from the local culture of Dubai. In addition, more than 1,000 carefully selected works of art adorn the building and its surroundings.
- The original opening date of the building was to be December 31, 2008, although due to a delay in construction, its completion and inauguration was delayed until January 4, 2010
- There are 160 habitable floors, of which 49 are for offices and 61 for apartments. The building has 57 elevators that travel at a speed of 10 m / s. On the 124th floor, a balcony open to the public titled «At The Top» offers a 360-degree view of the city.
- The Burj Khalifa has 5-ton capacity fire safety lifts. In case of fire there are also security rooms, located every 25 floors and equipped with pressurized air