The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. The project broke ground in January 2004 and building was completed in January 2010. The three-lobed, spiral design was inspired by a desert flower, the Hymenocallis, as well as the onion domes and spiral minarets of traditional Islamic architecture. The three-wing, Y-shape allows more surface area for windows, which maximizes light and views. As the building ascends it streamlines with 27 set-backs, very common in super-tall structures and an engineering devise known to the earliest architects. The Chicago firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (designers of the 1 World Trade Center in New York), with chief architect Adrian Smith, won an international competition to design the Burj Khalifa.
The building stands 2,717 feet tall, with 163 stories. The public observation deck on the 124th floor (At The Top) is the highest in the world. Levels 19-108 are home to some very wealthy people in 900 residences. At the current rate of approximately 3,750 UAE dirham ($1,021USD) per square foot, you can get an 1800 sq ft 2-bedroom apartment for $1,837,800, or you could consolidate and take the 560 sq ft studio for $572,000; micro-living is very trendy right now. (Micro-living in the world’s tallest building, ha ha.) The Armani Hotel occupies 15 floors with 160 guest rooms and suites and 144 private residences.
A 27-acre, Hymenocallis-influenced park swirls around the base of Burj Khalifa and is watered, at least in part, by the 15 million gallons of condensation collected from the building’s cooling system each year and stored in tanks in the parking garage.
Burj Khalifa anchors the Downtown Dubai development, which also includes the world’s largest dancing fountain on a 30-acre, man-made lake, the Dubai Mall, and The Address Hotel. The Dubai Mall has 1200 shops, over 1,000 places to eat, cinemas, an ice rink, a theme park and a very cool aquarium and underwater zoo, among lots of other stuff to look at and/or spend money on.
Check out the Dubai Fountain. It’s pretty.