Burj Tower In Dubai To Be World's Tallest Building

What is the tallest building in the world? Right now, it is the TFC 101 building in Taiwan - 509 meters tall. Not for long, though; Emaar Properties has awarded a contract to Samsung for $847 million to build the Burj Tower. This concrete and steel structure will soar to 800 meters (more than 2,600 feet! and 160 floors accessed by double-decker elevators) upon completion in 2008.


(From Burj Tower)

The excavation, piling and raft foundation have already been completed. The tower will combine residential and commercial space; a boutique hotel, recreational facilities, apartments and an observatory will fill its estimated 500,000 square meters of space. It will be a part of an $8 billion development in the United Arab Emirates.

Its upward-spiral design was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (of Chicago, Il, USA). Burj Tower's three-sided design will ascend in stages, around a supportive central core. Its shape will be integral to its impressive size. The design is intended to reduce the impact of wind and to reduce the need for a stronger core - allowing for more space - as it ascends.

"It's almost like a series of buildings stuck together," says Mohsen Zikri, a director at UK engineering consultants Arup. "As you go up you need less and less lifts and less core."

Science fiction has its share of tall (and large) structures. The nanotech buildings of William Gibson's 1996 novel Idoru made use of sophisticated materials to reach remarkable heights. In Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune, the temporary home of the Padishah Emperor spanned a thousand meters by using fanmetal. And for sheer size, what single building could compare with Trantor, the planet that served as the Capital in Isaac Asimov's 1951 Foundation series. The entire planet was covered with domes and buildings (except for the Imperial gardens).

TRANTOR - . . . The capital of the First Galactic Empire . . . Under Cleon 1, it had its "twilight glow." To all appearances, it was then at its peak. Its land surface of 200 million square kilometers was entirely domed (except for the Imperial Palace area) and underlaid with an endless city that extended beneath the continental shelves. The population was 40 billion and although the signs were plentiful (and clearly visible in hindsight) that there were gathering problems, those who lived on Trantor undoubtedly found it still the Eternal World of legend and did not expect it would ever . .

In his 1970 novel Tower of Glass, author Robert Silverberg writes about a soaring tower needed to communicate with the stars.

Read more about science-fictional living space below; see also the Burj Dubai Tower Update and this new building Burj al-Taqa Dubai Energy Tower. Read more about Burj Tower here.

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