Monday, January 04, 2010

Too Big For Its Dishdasha ... World's Tallest Target Opens Today

You gotta give these guys a tip-of-the-hat, for their cojones, in going through with this project.

I mean, after September 11th, the optimism of finding tenets to live, or work on, say, the 150th floor ...

In an area of the world were terrorist bombs are as ubiquitous as Mocha Grandes?

Breathtaking ...

World’s tallest tower opens today in Dubai

The height of the Burj Dubai remained a closely guarded secret on the eve of its opening. At a reported height of 2,684 feet, it long ago vanquished its nearest rival, the Taipei 101 in Taiwan. The building boasts the most stories and highest occupied floor of any building and ranks as the world’s tallest structure, beating out a television mast in North Dakota.

“We weren’t sure how high we could go,’’ said Bill Baker, the building’s structural engineer. “It was kind of an exploration. . . . A learning experience.’’ Baker, of the Chicago architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, said early designs had the Burj edging out the previous record-holder, the Taipei 101, by about 33 feet. The Taiwan tower rises 1,667 feet.The Burj’s developer, Emaar Properties, kept pushing the design higher even after construction began, eventually putting it about 984 feet taller than its nearest competitor, Baker said. He was keeping quiet about the exact height.
And, you gotta love this guy;
However, after the economic downturn ripped through Dubai — sending property prices plunging 50% and forcing Sheikh Mohammed to go cap in hand to his wealthy neighbour, Abu Dhabi, for a $25 billion (£15 billion) bailout — critics are already dismissing the tower as a gaudy memorial to a lost decade of uncontrolled speculation. “It’s the last blast of the Noughties in a city that got too big for its dishdasha [robes],” said one local banker.
Ahh, but there's hope;
The prospect of a partly-empty skyscraper invariably opens the Burj Dubai to charges of overbuilding. Surprise: It's happened before. As the history of the Empire State Building reveals - when it opened in 1931, it had so few tenants that it was known as the "Empty State Building" - today's white elephant is often tomorrow's beloved landmark...

Hmmm ...

Didn't the Empire State Building have a plane fly into it, once?

Bonus Links

Burj Dubai Skyscraper Site

Wikipedia: Burj Dubai

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