The tallest building in the world Tin Roof


Burj Dubai Design

Not only is it tall, the design of the Burj Dubai is groundbreaking in many other ways. 64 floors of apartments makes it the first worlds tallest tower to offer residential space in centuries.

For the head architect, Adrian Smith at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, challenging designs is nothing new. He’s been behind the Jin Mao in Shanghai, the United Gulf Bank building in Bahrain and most recently the the Trump International Hotel and Tower.

Trump in Chicago, 415 m (1362 ft).
Photo courtesy to: Skidmore Owings and Merrill LLP

For the Burj Dubai design Adrian Smith and SOM decided to use the bundled tube design, the same design SOM choosed for the Sears Tower and revolutionized the construction industry in the early 70s. Lead architect at that time were the famous Bruce Graham also from the Chicago office as Adrian Smith.

Bundled tubular design illustrated with a model of Sears tower, Chicago, also once
the tallest building in the world and built on the same principles as the Burj Dubai.
Picture Courtesy to Katoholieke Universiteit Leuven

The major advantage of using a bundled tubular as you might be able to tell from the picture are limiting the influence of shear lag. Shear lag is particularly an issue in skyscraper designs such as the Burj Dubai’s with it’s large side dimensions and what the Bundled tubular model do is simply making it possible. The Y shaped floor plan, inspired by the flower of Hymenocallis takes advantage of the bundled tube design of Burj Dubai and creates a variety of different spaces inside the building, all with a great view.

The Y-shaped floor plan.
Picture Courtesy to Emaar Properties PJSC.

Allied Bank Plaza, Houston.
Another example of bundled tube design.
Photo Courtesy to: Houston Architectural Info.

As for the Allied bank Plaza which shapes a dollar sign when viewed on from up abowe the lobes of the Burj Dubai design hide the shapes of a mosques onion domes, something which can be seen from certain angles close to the base if you look up the building.

In recent years Smith has become commited to energy efficient designs, for the approved Pearl River Tower project in Guangzhou, China, he worked together with former SOM architect Gordon Gill and together took sustainable designs to another level.

This was clearly shown on the Burj Dubai design as well, thermally insulated and with no horizontal surfaces to prevent dust to settle and keeping the energy efficient cladding clean are both major measures pointing in the same directions.

Looking at interior design the lobby will consist of two floors and as for the hotel and 160 of the apartments in the building the Giorgio Armani S.p.A. and EMAAR Hotels & Resorts LLC closed a deal in late 2004 to create the first Armani labled hotel in the Burj Dubai.

The Armani hotel will have a spa and five restaurants and the interior design of the apartments are Armani themselves responsible for. In total the complex will cover 40 000 m² of the floor space(in total 314,000 m²). Wa international, a Dubai based design company has been consulted on other part of the projects.

As for Adrian Smith, our beloved architect behind this project he and SOM decided to walk separate ways. Having said to be responsible for 70 to 80 percent of the Chicago office profit he left SOM october 2006 are now right in the middle of setting up his own practice with Gordon Gill, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. Turning 63 next year I still hope we have many groundbreaking designs to look forward to and recalling what Smith said himself recently: “I’m not planning to cut down before my 70:s birthday” I’d say chances are pretty good.

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