formerly burj dubai. renamed burj khalifa in honor of sheikh khalifa bin zayed bin sultan al nahyan, president of the united arab emirates (UAE). the building officially opened january 4, 2010.
above: from the spire, mid 2008
above: The tower is being constructed by a South Korean company, Samsung Engineering & Construction  which built the Petronas Twin Towers and the Taipei 101. The tower is designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, who also designed the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Freedom Tower in New York City, among numerous other famous high-rises. The building resembles the bundled tube form of the Sears Tower, but is not a tube structure.
The design of Burj Dubai is ostensibly derived from the patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, with the triple-lobed footprint of the building based on an abstracted version of the desert flower hymenocallis native to the region. The tower is composed of three elements arranged around a central core. As the tower rises from the flat desert base, setbacks occur at each element in an upward spiralling pattern, decreasing the cross section of the tower as it reaches toward the sky. At the top, the central core emerges and is sculpted to form a finishing spire. A Y-shaped floor plan maximizes views of the Persian Gulf. Viewed from above or from the base, the form also evokes the onion domes of Islamic architecture.
The renamed Burj Khalifa marks the first time since the Middle Ages, when Europe’s Gothic cathedrals rose taller than the Great Pyramid of Egypt, that the world’s tallest building has been located in the Middle East.
Designer: adrian smith ( note: the architects are the chicago office of SOM. smith left in 2006 to open his own firm: adrian smith + gordon gill
* 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
* 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) (previously Riva del Garda Hydroelectric Power Plant – 532 m (1,745 ft))
* The first world’s tallest structure in history to include residential space
* Highest outdoor observation deck in the world (124th floor)
* World’s highest mosque (located on the 154th floor)
* 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)
blair kamin – 1
blair kamin – 2
Chicago’s AFL-CIO investment trusts take a pass.
When Chicago was in the running for the 2016 Olympics, the local AFL-CIO Investment trusts signaled interest in helping foot the bill for an Olympic Village in Chicago. The trusts represent 24 trades.
But two union funds identified by a local labor leader and a Spire spokeswoman as having expressed interest, the AFL-CIO Building Investment Trust and the union-backed life insurer ULLICO Inc., are taking a pass, according to top executives there. Representatives of two others, the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust and the Multi-Employer Property Trust, say the Spire isn’t a suitable investment for them.
“It’s not something we’re able to do,” says Edward Smith, president of ULLICO. “Unfortunately, these are just very difficult markets.”
The idea of putting union funds to work, to provide work not as popular in Chicago as one might think. The boo birds vocal on this one.
below: the 2,000-foot-high 150-story condominium tower has remained a large hole in the ground for over a year ever since financial woes stopped construction work.
below: the latest 3D renderings.
For $40,000,000 you can get the 10,000 square-foot penthouse condo, which by-the-way was bought by Ty Warner, creator of the Beanie Baby toys; for $750,000 a bottom-end 543-square-foot starter unit. The average per-square-foot cost of a bit under $2,000 marks a new top price point in Chicago.
below: the latest 3-D interior renderings.
above: santiago calatrava, the architect, in the Chicago Spire sales office in NBC Tower.
The Spire was supposed to be finished by 2012 and the Irish developer staged a global marketing campaign. Buyers have snapped up a third of its 1,194 luxury condominiums to date.
Calatrava has placed a lien on the building, claiming that he was owed $11.34 million. But while in Chicago last month, he said it was his “personal wish” that the four-year-old project “was not dead,” noting that some of his projects have taken up to 13 years to complete.
the chicago spire
blair kamin – not DOA yet
chicago architecture info
chicago real estate daily
NYC’s top 10 crazy things that didn’t get built
snack-itecture. hungry writer meets deadline. food for thought.
above: london olympic aquatic center, being constructed for 2012 looks like a pringle
above: bergisel ski jump in innsbruck, austria looks like a cheeto
more analysis from john seabrook/new yorker
more on this menu from alissa walker/fastcompany
Swiss architect Peter Zumthor to be named winner of the 2009 Pritzker Prize, the highest recognition for architects. via nyt [PR]
Congress created the Eisenhower Commission in 1999 to plan and raise money for the memorial. Frank Gehry to design it. via portfolio.com [PR]
First major US exhibition of Fuller’s work in 35 years and a testament to his fascinating mix of utopian vision and organic pragmatism.
March 14 – June 21, 2009 via mcachicago [PR]
Construction of The Shard began this week and by the time of its completion, in early 2012, London will be the host of one of Europe’s tallest buildings and one of the most techno – logically advanced towers ever built.
The tower to stand at 1,017 feet (310 m) tall and have 72 floors, plus 15 further radiator floors in the roof, making it the tallest building in the country. Renzo Piano, the building’s architect, worked together with architectural firm Broadway Malyan during the planning stage of the project.
The Shard tower was announced with the hope that it would be the tallest building in Europe on completion, surpassing Frankfurt’s Commerzbank Tower, which at 849 ft (259 m) had been the tallest building in Europe since 1997. The Commerzbank has since been surpassed in height by two Moscow skyscrapers, Triumph-Palace and Naberezhnaya Tower, both of which the Shard tower would, in turn, surpass. However, since 2000, construction has started on three skyscrapers in Moscow that will rise higher than the Shard tower, including the 2,009 ft (612 m) Russia Tower that is now on hold. Even though the Russia Tower is on hold the other two, the Federation Tower East and the Mercury City Tower are still scheduled to be completed before the shard. Still, if completed on schedule, the Shard London Bridge may become the tallest building in the European Union.
Like the Empire State Building in NYC, Sears Tower in Chicago, Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, The Shard at London Bridge will become a recognizable symbol of London throughout the world.
Architecturally breathtaking, the concept behind The Shard was designed within seconds in a Berlin restaurant by the renowned architect Renzo Piano, a few years ago. “The tower is designed to be a sharp and light presence on the London skyline, and to be sustainable from every point of view: human, technological, energetic and economic.” Says Piano and he really means it.
The Shard has many sustainable credentials and is expected to use around 30% less energy than other comparable buildings and will also be a virtually car-free building. Can you imagine that? A 320 meter building with parking space for only 47 cars! Modern offices and efficient, flexible spaces suitable for a range of different working environments. A hotel, to be operated by Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts as their first European location, would be expected to take up around a fifth of the available space in the tower. A large pre-let for office space in the tower has been agreed in principle by Transport for London. World recession? We’ve read that 40% of the building has been leased.