Building Blocks Series 11: The Burj Khalifa

17 Sep

The next iconic building in our Building Blocks series is sure to take your breath away. It is currently the tallest building in the world, namely the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The building was created by Skidmore, Owings and Merril LLP and took 6 years to build, opening in 2010.

The architect, Adrian Smith, who designed the tower, incorporated patterns from traditional Islamic architecture and interestingly, the Hymenocallis, a regional desert flower. The tower has the appearance of petals on a stem as the wings of the building extend out from the middle of the structure.

So what makes up this magnificent building? As you would expect from being the world’s tallest building, it holds a number of records.  It stands at over 828 metres and has 160 stories. Not for the faint-hearted, the observation deck is the highest in the world at 124 stories up. When you arrive at the deck from a high speed lift, you step out to floor to ceiling glass walls which allow an all-round view of the surrounding area, including the city, desert and ocean.

Burj_Khalifa_building (1)


Now what about the windows! Well the outside is clad in 26,000 individually hand-cut glass panels that have been specially designed to withstand the extreme summer heat and reflect the light. If they were laid out, they would cover 17 football fields! That could be considered another window cleaning headache until you know there are 18 building maintenance units installed, which can reach the whole building. When all the units are operating together, it can take three to four months to clean all the glass.

If you should ever have the opportunity to visit this incredible building, you will be pleased to know you can undertake the ‘At the Top’ observation deck experience.


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