For more than 40 years, New York City’s Empire State
Building was the tallest building in the world. Completed in
1931, at...
Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza.
It was supposedly usurped
by the Lincoln Cathedral in
England in the fourteenth
century, bu...
What’s the one constant in most of these imposing
structures? Beginning with the Petronas Towers, they were
all constructe...
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  1. 1. For more than 40 years, New York City’s Empire State Building was the tallest building in the world. Completed in 1931, at 1,250 feet, it was just the beginning of a global quest to dominate the sky. Her long reign was broken in 1972 with the completion of The World Trade Center, also in New York City. Fondly called The Twin Towers, its two structures, at 1,368 and 1,362, once again changed the city’s skyline. Just two years later, in 1974, all eyes were on Chicago as the Sears Tower created a new record at 1,450 feet. The move to Asia At that point, the reach for the sky in the U.S. ceased and the race was transported from North America to Asia. In 1998, The Petronas Towers, at 1,483 feet, were erected in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, quickly followed by the Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, China, (1,381 ft.) in 1999. In 2003, Hong Kong’s Two International Finance Center was completed at 1,362 feet,. and surpassed one year later by Taipei 101 – it has 101 floors – in Taiwan. Taipei 101 still holds the world record at 1,667 feet, but not to be outdone, China’s Shanghai World Finance Center, scheduled for completion in 2007, will boast the highest outdoor observation deck at 1,611 feet. Burj Dubai But, heck, why should Asia have all the fun? Enter Dubai of the United Arab Emirates and history returns to those years of yore when the Middle East held sway on the tallest structure in the world with the almost 4,000 year reign of Turner International and Primavera: Building the Burj Dubai Project Management Highlights: • Primavera used to manage construction of world’s tallest building to-date • Foundation built in record time of 12 months • Project workforce to exceed 20,000 during peak construction
  2. 2. Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza. It was supposedly usurped by the Lincoln Cathedral in England in the fourteenth century, but the glory of the tallest structure in the world is about to return to the Middle East. When completed in 2008, Burj (Arabic for “tower”) Dubai will likely be the tallest structure in the world at more than 2,000 feet – the eventual height has still not been revealed lest competitors gain an edge. Burj Dubai is poised to hold the record in all four categories set by the New York based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat – highest structure, roof, antenna and occupied floors. Inspired by the desert The tower’s design, created by the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, is derived from the geometries of the desert flower and patterning systems used in Islamic architecture. Three elements spiral around a central core as the tower grows from the base. With setbacks occurring at each element, the mass of the tower decreases as the height increases toward the limitless sky. The design reduces the wind forces that occur at that altitude and allows a reduced core as the building ascends. In fact, at the 160th planned floor, the structure will change from its concrete base to a steel and aluminum structure that can be extended until the work is finalized. A Y-shaped floor plan will maximize the extraordinary views of the Persian Gulf and feature the first Armani Hotel, which will occupy the first 37 floors. Above, up to floor 108, will be 700 private apartments – it’s reported that they were all sold within eight hours – with the remaining floors dedicated to corporate office suites, except for a lobby on the 123rd floor and an observation deck on the 124th. A global venture The contract for construction of the tower was awarded by Emaar Properties, the largest land and real estate developer in the Gulf region, to a consortium under South Korean- based Samsung Corporation. Project and construction management is under the guiding hand of Turner International Middle East Ltd., of Dubai (jointly owned by Emaar and Turner International of New York). Turner also managed the construction of the Taipei 101 and is currently supervising construction of Federation Complex in Moscow, slated to be the tallest building in Eastern Europe upon completion. Excavation at Burj Dubai began in January, 2004, with a completed foundation established within a record 12 months. At the time of this writing, the structure is more than 50 stories high and is being completed at an astonishing rate of one floor every four days – the rate will accelerate as the building gets taller and the square footage of each floor decreases. The multinational workforce is expected to exceed 20,000 during peak construction. David Bradford, construction manager for Turner International, says his firm is up to the challenge, since Turner has been involved in the construction of 20 of the world’s tallest buildings. “We reached 60 floors in less than 750 days since excavation and we are on schedule for completion by December 2008.” A middle east metropolis Burj Dubai is the centerpiece of an extensive plan to expand an economy currently based on trade and oil into a country with tourism and service as its mainstay. It’s a huge venture that includes the entire Burj Dubai district, home to the Dubai Marina and waterfront, and the world’s largest shopping and entertainment venue, the Dubai Mall. There is also a planned underwater hotel, various island projects and The Lagoons, made up of seven landscaped islands that will be a mix of residential units, shopping centers, office buildings and marinas, all linked by bridges. To that mixture add Old Town, a section based on Arabian architecture, and The Boulevard, a stretch of road that provides an international ambience, and you’ve got a major urban metropolis in the making.
  3. 3. What’s the one constant in most of these imposing structures? Beginning with the Petronas Towers, they were all constructed with the help of Primavera solutions, probably a record. Tomorrow's record But there’s an old maxim that records are meant to be broken (except for DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak); plans for other structures that may exceed the height of Burj Dubai are already on the drawing board. Only 30 miles from Dubai, another tower, Al Burj, is in the planning stages and may usurp Burj Dubai in a few years. In addition, Kuwait is said to be interested in a project called Madinat-al-Hareer (City of Silk) that would include an Olympic stadium and a tower exceeding 3,000 feet. The drawback: it will take 25 years to complete. But because man’s desire to create beauty and art is never quenched, the race to the sky will continue. For now, however, Burj Dubai is focusing world attention on a region that many consider to be the cradle of civilization, giving it a new spotlight as the focus of the modern Middle East. WORLDWIDE HEADQUARTERS Three Bala Plaza West Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, USA P. +1.610.667.8600, 1.800.423.0245 F. +1.610.667.7894 INTERNATIONAL HEADQUARTERS Metro Building, Third Floor 1 Butterwick London W6 8DL, United Kingdom +44.20.8563.5500 Fax: +44.20.8563.5533 Copyright 2006 Primavera Systems, Inc.