According to CBC News, the Burj Dubai yesterday claimed the crown of the tallest freestanding structure in the world, surpassing Toronto’s CN Communication Tower (558m). In August it had already attained the title of world’s tallest building, climbing beyond Taiwan’s Tapei 101 (508m).
On June 8th, ArTect.net reported on a Burj Dubai Exhibition at New York’s Skyscraper Museum. Originally slated to end its run by September, the exhibition has been extended till October 14th. Extended coverage follows.
The exhibition places the development in context of Dubai itself with a massive satellite map of the city. It’s a startling sight, where the development is overshadowed by the second of three Palm islands, the Palm Jebel Ali, currently under construction off shore.
An article by Nick Tosches, published in Vanity Fair, captures Dubai’s rising skyline. “There is no architectural rhyme, no cohesion of design, no defining style. It is the visual equivalent of a bunch of speed freaks babbling incoherently to one another. Las Vegas is a sputtering 20-watt bulb compared with this fire in the desert. Forget about babbling speed freaks. Forget about everything. This is a skyline on crack.” If it weren’t for such iconic beauties as the Burj Al Arab, Dubai would resemble the Star Wars city of Coruscant.
The highpoints of the exhibition detail Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s inspiration and a scale model of its curtain wall. The Burj derives its design from indigenous flowers and Islamic architectural geometries. Interestingly its floral inspiration is not clearly apparent until one witnesses the building base or sees the building in plan. The unique curtain wall, manufactured by Far East Aluminium in Hong Kong, is shown below.
Extensive video and construction models from RWDI highlight the significant engineering demands and wind tunnel tests that influenced the final design. Even the Giorgio Armani designed interior and Otis Gen 2 elevator systems are detailed.