The United Arab Emirates kicked off the New Year with a great start this week with the impressive opening of it's and the world's tallest building, the Buri Khalifa in Dubai, standing at 828 m and built at a total cost of $1.5 billion US Dollars.
The exterior cladding of Burj Khalifa consists of 1,528,000 sq ft of ... reflective glazing, and aluminum and textured stainless steel spandrels panels. In total it has just over 26,000 glass panels in its exterior cladding with the spire of Burj Khalifa composed of more than 4,000 tonnes of structural steel. A cleaning system developed in Australia which consists of; specialist window cleaners and unmanned machines will be used to wash the 24,348 windows all at a cost of $8 million!
Inside, the Burj Khalifa can hold up to 25,000 people at any one time, has a total of 57 elevators and 8 escalators. There is an Armani Hotel which will occupy 15 of the lower 39 floors and of course will all decorated by Giorgio Armani himself. Floors through to 108 will have 900 private residential apartments and an outdoor zero-entry swimming pool will be located on the 76th floor of the tower. Corporate offices and suites fill most of the remaining floors, except for a 122nd, 123rd and 124th floor where the Atmosphere restaurant, sky lobby and an indoor and outdoor observation deck is located respectively. The outdoor observation deck, is also the highest in the world, at about 440 m.
Originally named Burj Dubai - the name was changed as a tribute to Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan, head of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Abu Dhabi, which came to Dubai's financial rescue in late 2009, was designed to be the centrepiece of a large-scale ($20 billion US dollar) mixed-use development that will include 30,000 homes, nine hotels such as The Address Downtown Burj Khalifa, 7.4 acres of parkland, at least 19 residential towers, the Dubai Mall, and the 30-acre man-made Burj Khalifa Lake.
The completion of the tower coincided with a worldwide economic slump and overbuilding, causing it to be described as "the latest in a string of monuments to architectural vacancies" However the optimistic have said "monumental buildings - such as the Empire State Building, which was completed at the start of the Great Depression - have sprung up during economic crisis and have survived to become treasured works of architecture. The Burj Khalifa will become such a structure. These monumental structures last well beyond the particular economics of the time that they were built... they are an engineering and architectural achievement"
Why not take a look for yourself? The world"s tallest building, Buri Khalifa.