Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Mankind's reach for the sky - The Tower of Babel apparently did not teach us anything...

Instead, we seem to pride ourselves on it. Free will. The power to accomplish the unthinkable. The art of one-upmanship.

Many did not realize that the 2300-foot tall Burj Dubai is "only" the world's Tallest Structure, and not the Tallest Building yet. Until Burj Dubai is completed and occupied, the honor of "The World's Tallest Building" currently still rests with Taipei 101. The grand opening of Burj Dubai is slated for September 2009. Hurray!

The Empire State Building held the title for over four decades, The Sears Tower, 24 years; yet they seemed to be the exception: Chrysler Building was the tallest for only one year before the Empire State Building took the honor away; The World Trade Center, 2 years; The Petronas Towers, 6 years. It has been almost five years since Taipei 101 was open in 2004, and the world cannot wait for a new Tallest Building. Here is a compiled list of timeline of the world's tallest skyscrapers.

But wait! There is something in the making to top Burj Dubai even before Burj Dubai is officially crowned:

According to the latest issue (March 2009) of Popular Science, or as they are known on the street, Pop Sci , (sigh... as if they didn't give themselves a cool name, the young kids would stop reading them...), Burj Mubarak al-Kabir, at the height of 3,284 feet, is being planned by the Kuwait government on the Tigris and Euphrates river delta, as part of its "the City of Silk" city development. In comparison, Burj Dubai is merely 2,684 feet tall (as originally planned; nobody knows how tall it will actually be until this September when it is finished). In order to withstand the high wind at that height, Burj Mubarak al-Kabir is designed as "three interlocking towers, each twisting 45 degrees top to bottom to help stabilize it... [The tower overlap in the center to form a triangular core.] No matter which way the wind blows, two of the three towers will always brace the building."

Like the Washington Monument with a height that is easy to remember: 555 feet, Burj Mubarak al-Kabir will be 1001 meter tall, "One thousand and one meters for One Thousand and One Nights. It's the difference between bragging rights and telling a story."

Take that, Burj Dubai. Ouch!

By the way, the supposedly 2nd tallest building to be built, The Chicago Spire? Not gonna happen, if ever, any time soon. It is currently a big giant ugly hole in the ground both literally and figuratively... construction has been put on indefinite hold because the developer have not been able to secure additional financing, at the same time when the world-renowned Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, filed a lien against the developer. Such a shame.

Labels: , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home