Today marks the opening ceremonies for the Burj Dubai (برج دبي), the world's tallest building. Located in Dubai, the building is over 160 floors and is 2683 feet tall. And it just gets weirder from there.
Here are a few insane facts about the building, which has been six years in the making. Arabian Business reports:
The Burj Dubai is expected to use an average of 946,000 litres of water each day. During peak cooling conditions, the tower will drink up around 12,500 tons of cooling – equal to the cooling capacity offered by about 10,000 tons of melting ice. On to electricity, and the tower will power through around 50 MVA of electricity at peak times – the equivalent of having some 500,000 100-watt lightbulbs burning at the same time . . . Courtesy of Dubai's steamy climate, the Burj Dubai is expected to sweat out a significant amount of condensation – particularly in the summer months. These droplets will be siphoned off to a tank in the basement car park, and used to water the tower's plants and landscaping features. It's expected that 15,000 litres – enough to fill 20 Olympic-sized pools- will be gathered each year . . . There will be 1,044 residential apartments, 49 office floors and the Armani Hotel Dubai, which will have 160 rooms spread amongst the first 39 floors. Additional features include an eleven hectare park, six water features and space for 3,000 underground parking spaces . . . In the event of fire – don't panic. You won't be expected to walk down all 162 floors if the lifts are out-of-service. Instead, there are pressurized, air-conditioned refuge areas every 25 floors or so, where you can huddle to await rescue.
What will rescue hundreds of people "huddled" thousands of feet up? Those dragons from Avatar?
The Daily Mail reports that the building is actually unfinished, and that many rooms remain incomplete. The Dubai government counters that the building is complete, and Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has announced a day of free celebration complete with fireworks. Last night, the building was bathed in laser light, as you can see from the top image on this post.
According to the Chicago Tribune's architecture blogger Blair Kamin, who is in Dubai for the opening, the Burj Dubai embodies speculative architect Hugh Ferriss' art deco work from the 1920s. (See a gallery of Ferriss' amazing work.) Kamin writes: