Burj Khalifa by SOM


Here are some photos of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa by Chicago office Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, which opened in Dubai earlier this month.

The 828 metre skyscraper includes residences, offices, a hotel and an observation deck on the 124th floor.

Here's some more information from developers EMAAR:


'Burj Khalifa' is unveiled to the world and its official height is 828 metres

The world's tallest building was unveiled to an estimated crowd of over 400,000 and the world, in a crescendo of fireworks, lasers and fountain displays. The official height of the tower, unveiled as 'Burj Khalifa', was announced as 828 metres (2,716.5 ft).

'Burj Khalifa', developed by Emaar Properties (www.emaar.com), is the world’s tallest building according to the three criteria of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat: ‘Height to Architectural Top’, ‘Height To Highest Occupied Floor’, and ‘Height To Tip’.

The tower is 320 metres taller than Taiwan’s Taipei 101, which had held the title of world’s tallest building since 2004, the year when the project was announced.

Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, said that the tower represented a symbol of hope to the Arab world and a shining example of human achievement. “Thousands of people from more than 100 countries have contributed to the realisation 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.”

A dramatic sound, light, firework and fountain display described the evolution of the tower, and ended in a breathtaking climax of lasers and fireworks, bathing the tower and the surrounding area in white light.

'Burj Khalifa' comprises luxury residences and offices, the world’s first Armani Hotel, and the world’s highest observation deck, ‘At the Top’, which is located on the tower’s 124th floor. Around 90 per cent of the tower’s offices and apartments have been sold.

‘At the Top’ opens officially to the public on January 5. The handover of offices and apartments starts in February, and the Armani Hotel Dubai will be opened by its designer, Giorgio Armani, on March 18.

More than 60 leading consultants including South Korea’s Samsung Corporation and New York-based Turner Construction International realised the design for Burj Khalifa by Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM).

Posted on Wednesday January 20th 2010 at 11:29 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • tanya telford – T

    from these pictures this building doesn’t look like an icon of power and money to me, more like steps up to the sky or an iconic feet of engineering. I haven’t been to Dubai but have watched documentaries & known of people who’ve worked there. I don’t know how the Arabs view this building but im sure the views from the top are incredible. I find the labour issue’s a little hard to stomach too but maybe they can improve with time,

  • robby

    beautiful, incredible, amazing!

    the wonders of slave labor

  • ehab

    you know i cant understand all people who think this project is stupid i bet that the architects who said it show of money or power ext …
    i bet any of them if they had the chance to design such tall building they wouldnt say no and they ll be very glad to do ,so plz stop being hypocrit, and to all who speaks about slave labor they dont know how these people have been living in there original countries they would do any thing to go work in dubai and a lot of families are living from this jobs so plz if you dont know the facts plz stop making coments for example am an architect and i work in dubai we have draftmen that there salary less than half of mine but they have villas in there home country while i dont have scratch its just example so i think i should be sad for my self better than be sad for others right

  • mark tingkov

    History Rising and Returning.

    Throughout history only a few structures have had the power to change history – and the horizon. Burj Khalifa is an icon not only for Dubai, but also for the region, the Middle East and the world. Burj Khalifa can now claim the tallest man-made structure in the world and the returning to the Middle East.


  • Seb

    Guys…remember that the Eiffel Tower was much hated when it was first built.

    I like the false perspective as one looks up from its base. It seems to go on for ever untill it will pop through the sky. Also I like how the viewer’s eye is drawn to (and moves around) the different roof platforms… there is a lot of ‘energy’ to this. Very impressive in that regard.

  • rashid khan

    interior need to improve a lot, and the structure look mush better if its done in frame stone with metal strip of cylinders,

  • EscuderoCor

    muy interesante y futurista, me agrada.


  • Now Dezeen embodies democracy for architects, designers and all kinds of creators. I have read all your comments some of them are informative and other are more (No comment).

    Aynway, what I liked most about Dezeen that allows all of us to express our different opinions and this architectural project: Burj Khalifa, is a great example. I assume everything new is impressive can fear or attract people. Time will tell us who was right and who was wrong! For example, the first human flight following the Greek legend was Icarus himself (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Icarus).
    As a result other tests of first flight with a hot air balloon: Montgolfier and later on much more man reached the moon and beyond. Architecture is like this, there’s good and bad, but when it’s new it’s hard to guess.

    About modern slavery issue I am absolutely against it and against extremes when some push up people (against their will under conditions unbearable to pay them their wages) to acheive a huge task… I feel terribly sorry for them, in the other hand, we will all die rich or poor in Europe or in Arab countries or everywhere else in the world, from starvation or working conditions or modern life!

    This debate is open but not new! Leaving time to time, or better in French: “Laissons le temps au temps” a quote of a famous French politician.

    François Beydoun

  • _genie

    Waste of money and energy.

  • Pierre Sinsua

    love it or hate it, its a must visit/see

  • reini04

    the tallest phallus ive ever seen.. it seems that the sheiks have a very bad feeling of inferiority according to their masculinity.. men who treat women like they do need to build towers like this.. this project is not at all about architecture..

  • God

    I’ve been to the observation deck on the 124th floor. I must tell you, worst $30 spent in my life! The view is that of on a plane. The front view is of the drying salty Persian Gulf, the rear view is of the plain and ugly desert. To the left and to the right, views of halt and incomplete towers. I instantly demanded a refund.

    • Tuomas


      I see astonishing amount of jelousy here. Yes, I've seen prettier tall buildings and yes, location of city and place is odd and yes, wievs could always be better. Workers are paid poor and it smells money. But – here it comes —
      so what.

      Building is brightly the highest ever made and structurally very demanding. I see it as a new Eiffel tower, not pretty but great address of engineering skills. Concrete works with ice on it, heavy wind loads etc. are unique stuff I admire as young architect. Building is first of a kind and will not be the last, no doubt. It looks as a stuff made in arab world, why make it look "New York" or "Swiss"? It looks like it should in very hot and moist summer climate, around the Gulf buildings live introvert. And the inside looks arabesque-glorious, temperate and nice dry climate. Like Sheikh building must look.

      I think most critics against it comes of jelousy – "why I did'n make it" or idealistic attitude "I wouldn't have agreed to do it". Yes you would have done it IF you were capable and no, you couldn't have done it prettier cause of it's place in front pioneer engineering. Just keep working and study to do things better.

  • Arch.TJ

    There are many negative Comments on this project but to comment on something is one thing and to critic something is another story. I think that most of the opinions mentioned lacks ownesty and childish phrased.

    Read critics around this project and keep your unprofissional Opinions to you selfs.

  • pigfoot

    most beautiful building ever!!

  • Andrea M

    I think this building is not all that bad.

    At least it’s public, not like some chateau built very deep into a landscape by some Princes to “get as far away from dirty peasants”. And oh have you seen the palace of the Sultan of Brunei?!

    Also, it’s a good example of collaboration. Have you seen the National Gallery in Berlin? It’s an art museum in which all the art is stored in the basement because the architect thought that his architecture was the real masterpiece! Now that’s ego for you.

    And also, it’s got an interesting dynamism about it. All those overlapping sections. It’s not as bland as the many “International Style” Seagram copycats littering commercial districts.

    It’s a showcase of wealth and power, alright, but so were Villa Barbaro, the Venetian Grand Palazzi, Seagram Building, Chartres, etc.

    The usage of money and resources does influence our judgement I think. A beautiful painting would’ve been seen differently, because all the “resources” it takes are just some paint, some brushes, a canvas, probably some models, and the painter himself. Same with a good novel perhaps. Hostility, yes, but a different sort.

  • Sahil

    Just awesome.