Tall Stories: The Burj Khalifa Tower
Dubai’s Burj Khalifa tower is the tallest structure ever built, and provides a fitting centrepiece to the Emirate with the largest population of the seven regions making up the United Arab Emirates. Completed in October 2009, the Burj Khalifa stands a towering 828 metres tall, and broke many more records besides being the tallest structure. Among many other achievements, the skyscraper boasts the world’s highest swimming pool on the 76th floor, and the world’s highest nightclub on the 144th floor.
Known as the ‘shopping capital of the east’, Dubai attracts many visitors with the promise of giant shopping malls, plentiful gold and warm weather year-round. However, the giant Burj Khalifa holds more than enough attractions in its 160 floors alone to tempt visitors to grab some flights to Dubai and make themselves at home in the clouds!
Engineering Tall Order
Photo from 第③ª类视觉
First and foremost, the Burj Khalifa is an engineering marvel. More than 330,000 cubic metres of concrete were used in its construction, and this concrete had to be poured during the night to avoid the searing daytime temperatures of Dubai summers. Ice was even added to the concrete mix to ensure the mixture set with no cracks. Records were also broken for the pumping of concrete up to the 156th floor – 606 metres high.
Look Down on the World
Photo by f1photos.org
Another record the Burj Khalifa holds is for having the highest outdoor observation deck in the world. The rather misleadingly-named At the Top observation deck is actually on the 124th floor, but provides some pretty stunning views over the surrounding area from a height of 452 metres.
Tower of Label
Photo by Makz
The Burj Khalifa houses the world’s first Giorgio Armani hotel, with interior decorations and designs created personally by the veteran designer. The hotel features eight different restaurants, as well as an Armani spa, lounge, confectionery store and florist. The tower also houses Armani-designed apartments on levels nine to 16, for those who want to move in with Armani!
Money Like Water
Photo from wikipedia
At the base of the Burj Khalifa, another record-breaking project can be found, in the form of the $217 million Dubai Fountain. Rather oddly, it took a naming contest to come up with the somewhat predictable name for this spectacular attraction. The fountain features 6,600 lights and 50 projectors, illuminating water shooting up to 150 metres into the air.
Photo from wrongsreversed
While the staggering scale of this project cannot have had anything other than a massive impact on the environment, efforts were made to minimise this. The tower features an innovative water-collection system which uses the cooling system in the building by collecting condensation from the much warmer, humid air surrounding the tower. This water is used to irrigate the gardens around the tower.
Photo by fizaco
Top photo by bedharak