Worlds tallest building opened today to mixed reviews
Last month marked a dark day for the global economy as gargantuan conglomerate Dubai World (with $59 billion) announced a restructure and sell off which altered the forecast for the global economy as any company of that size would trigger. Despite the meltdown in Dubai, today, developer Emaar Properties opened Burj Khalifa (or Burj Dubai), the world’s largest skyscraper which according to Emaar Properties is already 90% sold.
Today’s news has some upset and engaging in eye rolling, especially given the timing. Blogger Tim L. of Arlington, TX called the Burj Khalifa a “giant phallic symbol” and that “the audacity of the Burj just might prove, once and for all, that skyscrapers are a stupid way of expressing one’s ego, nationalist pride, or some other demonstration of one-upmanship.”
Other bloggers opine that the Burj Khalifa is a waste of money and the opening is poor timing in light of the global economic crisis while others praise the Burj Khalifa as a historic architectural feat. Michael Walters, Jr. of Grand Rapids, MI opined that the Burj Khalifa is “an amazing human achievement.”
The historic building’s stats:
The tower began construction in 2004 at the height of the Dubai real estate boom, and 2,717 feet high and $1.5 billion later, the Burj Khalifa opened today to great fanfare and a large fireworks show. Interestingly, this tower is not just a tad taller than what is now known as the worlds second largest tower (Taipe 101), it is 60% taller than the Taipe 101 and hundreds of feet taller than the average skyscraper. To get an idea of the scale, you could stack TWO Eiffel Towers inside the Burj Khalifa.
The Burj Khalifa has 200 stories according to Reuters and 165 of those are inhabitable. There are 900 residences available in addition to the soon-to-open Armani hotel. It has 11.6 million cubic feet of concrete, 1.3 million cubic feet of reinforced steel, 1.1 million square feet of glass and 166,000 square feet of embossed stainless steel and construction took 22 million man hours to complete.
The empty building weighs over 1 billion pounds and the total area is 5.67 million square feet, a third of which is residential. Burj Khalif will have the worlds highest observation deck, fountain, elevator, restaurant and swimming pool… can you imagine your ears popping every time you had to go to the office or even just to get home?
Naysayers aside, this is definitely a historic building.