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SOM’s Burj Dubai Becomes World’s Tallest Building


SOM announced today that the construction of the Burj Dubai has reached the 141st floor level at 1,680 feet (512.1 meters), surpassing the height of Taipei 101, which was previously the world’s tallest building at 1,667ft (508 meters). The height of the Burj Dubai, located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, will continue to climb as construction continues to the 160th top floor and beyond with its architectural spire. The construction is expected to top out before the end of the year.  George Efstathiou, Managing Partner for the project, said that he frequently refers to two other SOM-designed icons when describing the eventual height of the tower. “Height numbers in feet and meters don’t mean much to most people, but when I tell them to imagine the John Hancock Building stacked on top of the Sears Tower I usually get a jaw-dropping response. It’s an approximation, but it gives a real idea of the actual scale of the project. The Burj Dubai won’t be the tallest building in the world by a few meters: it’s going to be well above all the previous records.” Upon completion, the Burj Dubai will be the tallest building in the world in all four categories recognized by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, which compiles and ranks the world’s tallest buildings. CTBUH  ranks buildings on the basis of spire height, the highest occupied floor, roof height and pinnacle height. The Burj Dubai is being developed by Emaar Properties, constructed by South Korea’s Samsung Corporation. Turner Construction International is the project and construction manager. Efstathiou said of the team, “The collaborative efforts between SOM, Emaar, Samsung, and Turner have brought us to this historic point. Becoming a part of architectural history with the Burj Dubai project is an accomplishment for which the entire team is proud. Together, we’re not only creating a landmark for Dubai but for the entire world.” The Burj Dubai will be the center of a large scale, mixed-use development comprised of residential, commercial, hotel, entertainment, shopping and leisure outlets with open green spaces, water features, pedestrian boulevards, a shopping mall and a tourist-oriented old town. The design of the tower combines historical and cultural influences with cutting-edge technology to achieve a high-performance building. Its massing is manipulated in the vertical dimension to induce maximum vortex shedding and minimize the impact of wind on the tower’s movement.

Published with permission of ArchiCentral.

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