Burj Khalifa is a megatall skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the building is best known for being the current world’s tallest skyscraper, it’s the most popular tourist attraction in Dubai.
Burj Khalifa, literally means Khalifa Tower. Formerly known as Burj Dubai or Dubai Tower, which was changed to Burj Khalifa when the tower officially opened on January 4th 2010. Khalifa is derived from the name of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al
The tower is located in Downtown Dubai, an area along Sheikh Zayed Road, it’s one of several districts in the city that filled with lots of high-rises buildings, another district with significant amount of skyscrapers is Dubai Marina, the two districts is approximately 11 miles apart.
The architectural height of Burj Khalifa is 828 meters or 2717 feet, this is measured to the top of the spire, as its spire is considered an architectural element of the tower.
Before 2010, Burj Khalifa’s height has long been kept as a secret in order to prevent it from being surpassed by potential competitors. Finally the owner Emaar claimed the standard height of Burj Khalifa to be 828 meters, with a total height of 829.8 meters to its tip (there’s a 1.7 meter small needle atop the top of spire at 828 meters), making it the tallest building in the world in any categories. As of 2019, Burj Khalifa has been holding the crown of World’s Tallest Building for 10 years, it will keep the crown for another 3 to 5 years, until in 2022 or later when either the Dubai Creek Tower or Jeddah Tower surpasses it.
The highest occupied floor is level 154, which is 584m high from ground. For public sightseeing, there are 3 observation decks, respectively on levels 124,125 and 148. The one on level 148 is now the world’s highest observation deck at a height of 555 meters.
Mixed-use, the tower is used in a variety of purposes, respectively are Office, Residential, Hotels, Restaurant, Observation, Communication.
The 39th floor or level 39 and floors below are used as hotels or residences by Armani, the floors from level 39 to level 108 are mainly used for residences. Above level 108 to level 154 are office spaces, with the exception of level 124,125 and level 148, which are the 3 separated observation decks for public sightseeing. And there’s also a restaurant set at level 122, named At.mosphere.
The floors above level 154 to 163 are all mechanical floors. The number of floors is so huge as there are a total of 2909 stairs from the ground floor to 160th floor.
163 is commonly known as the number of Burj Khalifa’s floors, but a 2717-foot building couldn’t have only 163 floors even when the spire is removed right? That is because the floors above level 163 and below the spire are served as the base structure of spire, which is not habitable and also not for mechanical use, but it occupies 46 floors, hence technically the building has 209 floors.
Every year, fireworks show or laser show will take place on Burj Khalifa on New Year’s Eve, attracting thousands of people to watch on the scene, and millions watch online in the same time. The last firework show was occurred on January 1, 2017, a laser show was shown on New Year’s Eve of 2018, laser shows is also occurred in some other events or festivals.
Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith from Chicago-based architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, he has also designed some other notable projects like Jin Mao Tower, Wuhan Greenland Center in China, and Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, which is set to become the next tallest building in the world.
The tower is built on a shamrock-shaped footprint, making the tower seen like a letter ‘Y’ from above in the air, this shape derived from Hymenocallis, also known as desert lily, a local plant live in desert, the tower’s cross section area reduces gradually as it rises.
This shape in the one hand is for the stability of the building, the Jeddah Tower which currently under construction is also based on this shape and the shape can also be found on other structures such as CN Tower, Wuhan Greenland Center and Russia Tower(cancelled). On the other hand, this sort of shape is more suitable for the hotels and residences, in which the scenery from the outdoor should be highly concerned, the Y-shape design can provide the people living in it with views to the greatest extent, that is why the lower portion that below the level 108 where the Y-shape is more apparent is used for hotels and residences and the upper portion where the Y-shape has almost transformed to circular is occupied by offices, where people working there are supposed to concentrate their focus on their work not the scenery.
The whole project cost 1.5 billion dollars, the tower itself cost 1 billion dollars, it’s not very high for a building with that height, even many buildings around 300 meters in American cities cost this much, this is more obvious when compared with One World Trade Center in New York City, which cost 3.9 billions dollars. But for buildings in Dubai, this number is far ahead of other supertalls while the majority of Dubai’s supertall skyscrapers cost only around 300 million dollars.