Burj Khalifa known as Burj Dubai before its inauguration, is a mega-tall skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is the tallest structure in the world, standing at 829.8 m (2,722 ft).
Construction of the Burj Khalifa began in 2004, with the exterior completed in 2009. The primary structure is reinforced concrete. The building was opened in 2010 as part of a new development called Downtown Dubai. It is designed to be the centerpiece of large-scale, mixed-use development. The decision to build the building is reportedly based on the government’s decision to diversify from an oil-based economy, and for Dubai to gain international recognition.
The building was named in honor of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Abu Dhabi and the UAE government lent Dubai money to pay its debts. The building broke numerous height records.
Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith, then of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), whose firm designed the Willis Tower and One World Trade Center. Hyder Consulting was chosen to be the supervising engineer with NORR Group Consultants International Limited chosen to supervise the architecture of the project. The design of Burj Khalifa is derived from patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, incorporating cultural and historical elements particular to the region, such as in the Great Mosque of Samarra.
The Y-shaped plan is designed for residential and hotel usage. A buttressed core structural system is used to support the height of the building, and the cladding system is designed to withstand Dubai’s summer temperatures. A total of 57 elevators and 8 escalators are installed with a capacity of 12 to 14 passengers per cabin.
Not only is Burj Khalifa the world’s tallest building, it has also broken two other impressive records: tallest structure, previously held by the KVLY-TV mast in Blanchard, North Dakota, and tallest free-standing structure, previously held by Toronto’s CN Tower. The Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has established 3 criteria to determine what makes a tall building tall. Burj Khalifa wins by far in all three categories.