Hello dears! How are you feeling? So, today we will visit the tallest building in the world — Burj Khalifa. And will find out how ambitious Arabs who have a lot of money and opportunities can be. Naturally, there is an observation deck. But even considering that it is closer to the middle of the building than to the peak, it is still sooooo high. Until a certain moment, there was no place higher).
There is a sign at the entrance to the tower that says:
“I am the heart of the city and its people, the symbol of Dubai's brilliant dream.
More than just a moment in time, I define a moment for future generations.
I am Burj Khalifa. "
It all started with the fact that in the 2000s, the clever sheikh Mohammed ibn Rashid Al Maktoum realized that oil is not infinite, and that it will eventually end. Therefore, decided to invest in the construction of a new area — DownTown Dubai. With offices, shops, fountains and hotels. In general, everything that can attract tourists and international companies. Well, since it is almost impossible to surprise anyone with the skyscraper district, the project included the construction of the tallest skyscraper in the world.
The building was originally called Burj Dubai — Dubai Tower. But in 2010, during the official opening procedure, it was renamed in honor of the President of the UAE Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. And the name became Burj Khalifa.
The height of the building is almost a kilometer — 828 meters. 163 floors. In fact, you can watch the sunset from the building twice if you move from bottom to top. The spire accounts for 180 meters. Of course, it is the longest in the world. The top of the Burj Khalifa can be seen at a distance of 95 km from the tower.
The building is generally the best in many positions. The tallest and most multi-storey and most expensive. Even in terms of construction, Burj Khalifa has no competitors. The tower is three times taller than the Eiffel, and twice the size of the famous Empire State Building.
But there are already several projects that can jump over the Arab figurine. The 928m high Dubai Creek Tower or Jeddah Tower that is under construction 32 km north of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Other countries are also not lagging behind:
* 200-storey skyscraper Murjan Tower in Bahrain with a height of 1022 m;
* 1001-meter skyscraper Mubarak al-Kabir Tower (eng. Burj Mubarak al-Kabir) in Kuwait;
* 975-meter Miapolis skyscraper in Miami
But such big success comes at a big price. And it was naturally not those who were sitting in air-conditioned offices looking at canvases of technical plans on wide tables that paid it. Burj Khalifa was built by inexpensive labor from South Asia.
Judging by the official investigations, they lived in very controversial conditions. Salary was delayed, passports were taken away, and they worked in dangerous conditions. They say that there weren't even breaks for food and plain water. Therefore, there were many deaths, accidents and injuries, although the official statistics say only one death.
In 2006, a workers' strike produced results and conditions improved. But there were still discontents and protests, despite the fact that the next day the workers could safely return to their places and work. The reluctance to be deposited out of the country seems to have exceeded the resentment. In some ways, this all resembles the principle of building the pyramids in Ancient Egypt.
The design of the building was developed by the same American architectural firm that was engaged in the Willis Tower in Chicago and the World Trade Center 1 in New York. Koreans were building — the contractor was Samsung.
All participants from the very beginning did not suffer from modesty aiming at the construction of the tallest building in the world. Even the design height was not told to anyone. What if someone decides to build a bigger turret. But even the designers themselves, until the last moment, were not sure at what height they would stop.
Construction began in 2004, 1-2 floors a week. Graduated in 6 years in 2010. Especially for the Burj Khalifa, the Chinese have developed a special type of concrete that can withstand temperatures up to +50 ° C. The concrete mixture was laid only at night, and ice was added to the solution. There is no foundation as such. Instead, the building stands on 200 piles. It was not easy to install the piles, as the walls of the mines collapsed as soon as the drill was removed. To prevent this from happening, the mines were filled with a polymer resin, which was subsequently replaced by the poured concrete. Builders compacted the soil and the subsidence for the entire construction period was only 30 meters, which is simply nothing for such types of structures.
The tower is shaped like a stalagmite to reduce the swaying effect of the wind. Strong winds are dangerous for skyscrapers. The flow of the air around the building forms mini-tornadoes and vortices. The resulting low pressure areas pull the building to the sides. And the higher the building, the stronger the effect. But the tower sections are designed so that the wind never forms a single flow. The vortices move at different speeds around each part of the building.
In addition, a special counterweight, a special ball made of concrete and steel, is installed inside the tower to make the building even more stable. Its weight is about 800 tons. This structure is supported by springs and balances the vibration amplitude of the Burj Khalifa. Those. now, during sandstorms, the upper floors sway with only a meter amplitude.
The entire area of the building, namely 17 football fields (why do people like to measure in football fields so much??), is covered with special glass thermal panels with tint. Reminder — the average temperature in Dubai during the day is about 40 ° C. The panels have significantly reduced air conditioning costs.
The thermal panels are coated with two protective layers based on metals. The outer layer, like sunscreen, reflects ultraviolet radiation, while the inner silver-based layer prevents infrared radiation from passing through.
It takes 3 months to clean all the windows. But the process is endless campaign. This is done on twelve special machines, each weighing thirteen tons. These mechanisms ride on special rails along the outer walls of the building.
The height of the building led to the problem of equalizing extreme pressure drops in the engineering systems of the building — cooling water and water disposal, drinking water supply, and fire water supply. For this, seven two-story technical zones were evenly distributed in the skyscraper.
The tower has a hotel, offices and residential apartments. From the 1st to the 39th there are offices and a hotel. About 900 apartments occupy floors from 44 to 108. Almost 90% of the apartments were sold out the day after the tower was opened. On the 43rd and 76th floors there are gyms, swimming pools, viewing platforms with a jacuzzi.
On the 100th floor there are 3 apartments, each with an area of about 500 m². They are all owned by Indian billionaire B.R. Shetty.
Office space is scattered from the 111th to 154th floors. The building can accommodate 35,000 people at the same time, but all of them can be evacuated in just 32 minutes. In addition, the Burj Khalifa has nine special shelters. They are protected by layers of reinforced concrete and sheet refractory coatings, and have their own special ventilation system. You can stay inside for almost 2 hours while everything around is on fire. Plus there is a service fire lift that can accommodate 60 people. And it is the only one covering all floors of the building.
And the most interesting thing is the observation decks. The first one, called «At the Top», was opened on the 124th floor at an altitude of 452 meters. But in Shanghai, in the building of the financial center, there is an observation deck at 474 meters. The Arabs simply could not accept such a defeat, so in 2014 a new SKY observation deck was opened on the 148th floor at an altitude of 555 m. There are more exclusive conditions for visiting — a guide, drinks and snacks.
The elevators in the tower were also thought to be recorded as the fastest, but here the Taiwanese did not give up the leadership). 16 m/s in the Taipei Tower in Taiwan versus 10 m/s in Dubai.
But what's really cool is that the air inside the building is not only cooled, but also aromatized thanks to special membranes. And the scent was specially created for the Burj Khalifa. To make not simply the best but even amazing)
All these figures, facts, of course, sound incredibly cool. But if you just think about it — this is a building, almost a kilometer in height. A person needs 12-15 minutes to walk a kilometer. The famous French climber Alain Robert climbed it for 6 hours. He was probably hampered by the weight of his steel eggs. But just like that, a person took and erected something so grandiose that it is even difficult to understand it. But technically, this is not the limit.
Interestingly, but there is no sense of height. As if a poster was pasted on the windows and a hologram of moving cars was connected to it. People from such a height are simply not visible. Even in the open part of the observation deck, the city is not audible. You can only feel the wind breaking on the glass sides of the tower. Howling, trying to fight an unexpected object in its path. It smells freshness and clouds. And heated during the day metal.
But life below passes silently. The sharp signals of the drivers dissatisfied with the traffic jam do not reach the top. The music of a giant singing fountain, spitting water almost 100 meters up, does not reach as well. The jackhammers and drills of the workers erecting new buildings at the foot of the giant are not heard. They don't even try to compete, but just swarm in a small group in the shadow of a giant.
It's already evening down there. For them, the sun has already set, signs and lanterns have been lit over the cozy terraces of restaurants. The heat of the day slept, and a sweet fog from hookahs floated through the streets. But here at the top there is a head start of as much as half a kilometer and the setting sun is still softly shining in the eyes. Twilight shadows can be seen crawling along the ground, climbing the columns of office buildings. Making people nervous. Forcing them to turn on thousands of small lights.
But the sun sets even on top of the iron titanium. The sky is as dark as the earth. And the city is changing. Now its outlines are molded from the yellow lanterns of the roads. Subdued lights working late offices. With panoramic windows and sound-dampening carvings. The cold light of the shopping malls, where people hide from the heat all day among marble floors and columns. And small pinches of bright football stadiums, schoolyards and ordinary houses. Where on the warm balconies, with the light falling from the living room, the inhabitants of the city of the future wearily watch the evening stream of people and cars on the small streets.
How to get to Burj Khalifa:
-Metro. The most convenient way to get to Burj Khalifa is by metro. Take the red line to Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall station. Then follow the signs to walk for 10 minutes.
-By bus. Routes of buses numbered 27, 29, 30, F13, D03, D03A to the Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall stop. One of the recommended options is the City Center Metro Bus Stop A 2, which runs to Dubai Mall every 30 minutes.
The observation deck is open from 08:30 to 01:00;
Ticket offices are open from 10:00 to 00:00.
Tickets can be bought in advance — https://tickets.atthetop.ae/atthetop/en-us
Keep in touch! MarrySav
This post is also available in: Russian