‘Scuse me, while I kiss the sky
Once in a while I like to write about something that just totally captivates me. This captivation can vary from admiration to curiosity; abhorrence to outrage; and can even be generated from the greatest of fears imaginable to me. In this case, it involves marvel and fear – my fear of extreme heights.
The Burj Khalifa in Dubai, also known as the Burj Dubai, opened January 4, 2010 taking the world record by a landslide as the tallest building ever constructed. But that’s not the only thing about this mammoth architectural undertaking that breaks a record.
Current records include:
- Tallest skyscraper to top of spire: 828 m (2,717 ft) (previously Taipei 101 – 509.2 m/1,671 ft)
- Tallest structure ever built: 828 m (2,717 ft) (previously Warsaw radio mast – 646.38 m/2,121 ft)
- Tallest extant structure: 828 m (2,717 ft) (previously KVLY-TV mast – 628.8 m/2,063 ft)
- Tallest freestanding structure: 828 m (2,717 ft) (previously CN Tower – 553.3 m/1,815 ft)
- Building with most floors: 160 (previously Willis Tower – 108)
- World’s highest elevator installation, situated inside a rod at the very top of the building
- World’s fastest elevators at speed of 64 km/h (40 mph) or 18 m/s (59 ft/s) (previously Taipei 101 – 16.83 m/s)
- Highest vertical concrete pumping (for a building): 606 m (1,988 ft) (previously Taipei 101 – 449.2 m/1,474 ft)
- Highest vertical concrete pumping (for any construction): 606 m (1,988 ft)
- The first world’s tallest structure in history to include residential space
- Highest outdoor observation deck in the world (124th floor) at 442 m (1,450 ft)
- World’s highest installation of an aluminium and glass façade, at a height of 512 m (1,680 ft)
- World’s highest swimming pool (76th floor)
- World’s highest nightclub (144th floor)
- World’s highest place of worship (158th floor)
- And, most recently – the structure is now home to the newest record of the highest ever recorded base jumping.
September 21, 2004 began the construction on this massive megastructure, with the architecture and engineering assigned to the firm of Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill of Chicago IL. When the idea was first conceptualized it was unknown just how high a skyscraper could be built. In fact, the Burj, which is the arabic word for Tower, reaches such unforeseen heights that a new word was coined to describe its magnitude – ‘Superscraper’. I’ve substituted this with the word Megastructure, it just sounds more fitting.
The final height of the Burj is equivalent to the previous record-holding Taipei 101 Tower in Taiwan with the Eiffel Tower on top of it. A whopping 828 meters, 2717 feet, 160 stories, HIGH. That’s over half a mile high. Already-seasoned visitors to the tower have reported that the best views come from in between 70-80 stories, since it’s near impossible to make out what is on the ground from the top of the structure.
The tower is designed to sway as much as 5.5-6 feet in the worst weather conditions. Not surprisingly, this figure has become controversial – with other experts saying it could be as much as a 10 foot sway. This gives me chills and a visual that’s all my own. You see, to me – this is the stuff nightmares are made of. Which, if you read this blog often, you already know I have some real doozies.
I’ve followed the progress of this monster for years, and the completion of such a feat is something I never could have envisioned. A few people I know say they would love to cruise to the top of this bad boy. I wish I could say the same, but unfortunately I wouldn’t even make it halfway! This thing is way massive, and oddly enough I have a kind of sick respect for the fellas that recently base-jumped off of it. The platform from which they launched from wasn’t even at the top – and it still beat the record by a sizable margin, if that tells you anything.
I cannot imagine living in the city where this colossal cloud-buster resides. To even see it in my peripheral vision would probably give me vertigo. 🙂
Of course, I’m only detailing the facts here that are of interest to me. So here’s a couple good websites to check out extra notable stats and current info on the Burj….
Burj Dubai Official Site