Contract - January/February 2010 - (Page 20)

industry Sky High Dubai Dubai, United Arab Emirates—Eyes were set on Dubai’s skyline on Jan. 4, as Burj Khalifa was unveiled as the world’s tallest building. The more than 160story tower, designed by Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, stands close to a mile in height at 828 m. and beats out the 508-m. Taiwan Taipei 101, which held the record since 2004. Burj Khalifa, named after United Arab Emirates president Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, is home to the world’s first Armani Hotel, designed by Giorgio Armani. The hotel features 160 guestrooms and suites (guestrooms occupy levels five through eight, and suites are located on floors 38 and 39), eight dining options, an Armani/Privé lounge, and a 12,000-sq.-ft. in-hotel Armani/Spa with fitness center and thermal suites. The hotel is set to open on March 18. In addition to housing 900 Burj Dubai apartments, 144 luxury Armani residences, and 37 office floors, the tower also features At the Top, the world’s highest observation deck, located on the 124th floor. To get to the deck, visitors start from the ground level of The Dubai Mall and pass through a multimedia tour of Dubai’s history and the Burj Khalifa’s features. Other highlights include a four-story fitness and recreation annex, the At.mosphere restaurant, an 11 hectares park with six water features, and 57 high-speed elevators. But the defining feature of the Burj, aside from its height, is the brilliant melding of a traditional Arabic and Islamic undertone with the tower’s overall sleek modern look. “If you look at the wings themselves, they’re all pointed in a similar way that you see Islamic arches that are pointed,” says George Efstathiou, lead architect for SOM and managing partner for the project. He also notes that inspiration for the patterning in the carpets and wallcoverings was drawn from Arabic calligraphy, which is considered a form of art in the region. Completion of the project, which first began construction in 2004 under Emaar Properties PJSC, was realized by the collaboration of more than 60 consultants, including South Korea-based Samsung Corporation and New York-based Turner Construction International. “Thousands of people from more than 100 countries have contributed to the realization of Burj Khalifa. The tower embodies the spirit and optimism of global collaboration, and shows to the world what can be achieved when communities work in partnership,” Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Properties, said in a statement. He notes that the tower is a symbol of hope for the Arab world. For a full Q&A with SOM lead architect George Efstathiou, visit Photo courtesy of SOM contract january/february 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Contract - January/February 2010

Contract - January/February 2010
Not Just for Specifiers
Designers of the Year
Legend Award
The 31st Annual Interiors Awards
Large Office
Small Office
Public Space
Adaptive Reuse
Environmental Design
Designers Rate: Ergonomic Seating
Less is More
Ad Index

Contract - January/February 2010