High and Higher in Dubai


By Mary Mullaj

Last week on the Haute Blog you read about Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal’s intention to spend $40 billion in constructing the tallest building in the world. This project was promised to be more than a kilometer in height and was slated to bump the Burj Dubai out of first place in the race for height. Well, the Prince might want to revise his plans a little when he hears that the tallest building will be in Dubai, but it’s not going to be his.

Instead, the new Dubai City tower commits to stretching at least 1.55 miles high. That’s higher than Denver. That’s higher than some clouds. And that’s definitely higher than the building proposed last week.  This amazing feat of engineering uses an Eiffel tower-type model with a twist, reminiscent of the DNA double helix, for strength and flexibility. It is actually six seperate buildings winding around a central core. The buildings are tied back to the core every hundred floors. To travel within the tower, the elevator is actually a high-speed train. After the 400th floor, a spire will make up the rest of the height. The building will use 37,000 MWH a year, with a 15MW peak usage but most will be supplied by solar, thermal, and wind energy generated by the tower itself.

Of course one has to wonder why build it in the first place. Coolness value alone is a lot to spend a couple billion dollars on, especially seeing as one’s creation could be upstaged by another at any moment. But for the time being, there you have it: the tallest building in the world. At least for the next five minutes.