As I have previously mentioned, Adrian D. Smith designed the world’s tallest structure: the Burj Khalifa. This skyscraper is located in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai and has a total height of 829.8 m and a roof height (excluding antenna, but including a 244 m spire) of 828 m.

The building, modular in plan, is laid out on a three-lobed footprint that is an abstract rendering of the local Hymenocallis flower. The Y-shaped plan plays a central role in the reduction of wind forces on the tower. As the tower increases in height, the wings step back in a spiral configuration, changing the building’s shape at each tier and so reducing the effect of the wind on the building. The central core emerges at the tower’s top and is finished with a spire, which reaches more than 200 meters. A three-story podium anchors the tower in place; the podium and two-story basement alone measure some 186,000 square meters in their own right. The tower’s exterior cladding is made up of aluminum and stainless-steel panels, vertical stainless-steel tubular fins, and more than 28,000 hand-cut glass panels.

The sky lobbies on the 43rd and 76th floors house swimming pools. Floors 20 through 108 have 900 private residential apartments (which, according to the developer, sold out within eight hours of being on the market). Corporate offices and suites fill most of the remaining floors, except for the 122nd, 123rd and 124th, where the At.mosphere restaurant, sky lobby and an indoor and outdoor observation deck are located respectively.

I find fascinating how a building of this magnitud is able to stand on its own without any additional help. Also how the design firm had the ability to combine the utility of a “Y” shaped plan to:

  • Maximize the perimeter for residential and hotel uses while keeping the efficiency of the floor plan.
  • Provide a stable platform to support a building of this height while maintaining the tower’s slender and elegant shape.

Altogether the Burj Khalifa it is an exceptional and incredible structure which will surely give you goosebumps if you have the opportunity of seeing it in person.

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