The Burj Al Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, Dubai is a neo-futuristic edifice that represents the cutting-edge high-tech architecture of the present generation. It is a feat of architecture and engineering that has received several accolades for its magnificence and is said to have enhanced Dubai‘s reputation. This superstructure, created by Adrian Smith of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill architects and constructed by Emaar Properties, revolutionised the design and engineering sector and compelled designers to go beyond the scopes and limits of current architectural designs.

Tallest Building In World Dubai: 10 Facts Burj Al Khalifa Through Architect'S Lens - Sheet1
Burj Al Khalifa,Dubai_©Nick Merrick

The skyscraper is a mixed-use structure with offices, retail spaces, apartments, and a Giorgio Armani hotel. The commercially built deck on the 124th level is one of the most important areas in the structure, which has a variety of purposes. The deck is the most sought-after tourist attraction since everyone who visits is delighted to witness the building that holds world records and the vista it provides. While every tourist looks at the building in astonishment, an architect’s lens shows the perspective that makes this tower a ground-breaking design.

Inspiration- the Beginning of the Burj Khalifa | Tallest Building In World Dubai

Tallest Building In World Dubai: 10 Facts Burj Al Khalifa Through Architect'S Lens - Sheet2
Desert Flower or Spiderlily_©Wikipedia

The Burj Al Khalifa draws its design inspiration from a popular desert flower, hymenocallis, or “spider lily.” With the wings of the building extending from its central core like the petals of a flower, it has a Y-shaped triplicate foundation construction. The chief architect, Adrian Smith, drew significant inspiration from traditional architecture in the tower’s design, which is reminiscent of the onion domes seen in Islamic architecture. The skyscraper’s tiered spiral form is evocative of traditional Middle Eastern construction. The structure ascends to the sky in a series of distinct stalks that top out irregularly all around the core spire. Views of the Arabian Gulf are maximised by the Y-shaped floor design.

Wind Engineering – ‘Confusing the Wind’

Tallest Building In World Dubai: 10 Facts Burj Al Khalifa Through Architect'S Lens - Sheet3
Close View of Burj Khalifa, Dubai_©Nick Merrick

The effect of wind pressure on the skyscraper was a crucial factor from a practical standpoint. The Burj Al Khalifa was specifically built to withstand wind, a task that becomes increasingly crucial as height rises. The tower’s unusual shape deflects wind away from the structure, preventing organised whirlpools of air current, or vortices, from forming, which would shake the tower and potentially cause structural damage. 

The structure uses a “buttressed core,” in which each wing buttresses the others through a central core with six sides. The torsional resistance of the structure is provided by this central core. All of the vertical concrete is utilised to carry both gravity and lateral loads due to the arrangement of the junctions between walls and corridors. The wings are pushed back as the structure spirals upward to give a variation of floor plates. These offsets also have the benefit of giving the tower a varied breadth for each floor plate. The tower’s stepping shape allows it to obstruct the wind’s path over the structure’s entire height. Even with this ingenious design, the 206-story Burj Khalifa will nevertheless slightly sway back and forth by around 2 metres at the apex.

Spire- The Crowning Jewel

Its telescoping spire, which is made of more than 4000 tonnes of structural steel, is the Burj Al Khalifa’s crowning achievement. A hydraulic pump was used to lift the spire to its full height of more than 200 metres (700 feet) during construction. In addition to maintaining the Burj Khalifa’s title as the tallest building in the world, the spire is essential to the overall design and gives the monument a sense of completion. Additionally, the spire holds communication technology. The Burj’s top four floors have been set aside for broadcasting and communication. These levels are found directly beneath the spire.

Exterior Cladding 

Tallest Building In World Dubai: 10 Facts Burj Al Khalifa Through Architect'S Lens - Sheet4
Exterior Cladding, Burj Khalifa_©Nick Merrick

Reflective glass with textured stainless steel, aluminium, and spandrel panels, as well as stainless steel vertical tube fins, make up the outside cladding of Burj Al Khalifa. The outside cladding of the skyscraper was covered with about 26,000 hand-cut glass panels. Chinese cladding experts, numbering over 300, were brought in to complete the project. The cladding system is intended to survive Dubai’s intense summer heat, and to further guarantee its integrity, dynamic wind and water testing were conducted using a World War II aircraft engine. Five A380 aeroplanes’ worth of aluminium were needed to build the Burj Al Khalifa, and the stainless steel bullnose fins’ entire length is 293 times the height of Paris’ Eiffel Tower. The Burj Khalifa’s curtain wall is the same size as 25 American football fields or 17 soccer fields.

Sustainability | Tallest Building In World Dubai

The tower is intended for a nation known for building air-conditioned bus shelters because of its unfathomably high temperatures, which may reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Because it is difficult to design passive solar cooling at such high temperatures, the skyscraper is not an example of an environmentally beneficial building. However, the building has been able to carve out a space for itself in sustainability thanks to a few cutting-edge strategies used by the designer and team in an era when sustainability wasn’t the norm. 

Solutions for sustainability can be “sky-sourced” from the top of the building, where cooler air temperatures, lower air density, and lower relative humidity are permitted. When ventilation air is drawn from the top of the building, air conditioning, ventilation, and dehumidification consume less energy. The Burj Khalifa’s double-paned glass walls with a reflective inner layer and a low-emissivity outer layer have increased thermal insulation against the high ambient temperatures in Dubai. Other measures, including mechanical control, smart lighting, stack effect controls, and more, were adopted to improve the building’s sustainability and energy efficiency.


Tallest Building In World Dubai: 10 Facts Burj Al Khalifa Through Architect'S Lens - Sheet5
“World Voices” Interior Installment, Burj Khalifa_©Nick Merrick

The Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP office in Chicago handled the interior decoration of the Burj Al Khalifa’s public spaces under the direction of award-winning designer Nada Andric. Along with silver travertine floors, Venetian plaster walls, handcrafted carpets, and polished black stones, it also has glass, stainless steel, and other polished materials. The Burj Khalifa and the nearby Emaar Boulevard are decorated with more than 1,000 works of art by well-known Middle Eastern and global artists. The majority of the work was exclusively contracted by Emaar. 

The SOM interiors team drew inspiration for the lobbies, guest amenities, lounges, offices, board room floor, and chairman’s suite from both the technological accomplishment of the building and the local culture and tradition. The uppermost levels’ furnishings, which were motivated by the idea of a permanent spacecraft, reflect cosmic influences. In the residential lobby, Jaume Plensa’s “World Voices” large-scale installation has 196 individually made cymbals suspended over small pools of water from thin stainless steel tubes. Ambient noise is created in the lobby using special equipment that is positioned inside the ceiling that drips water over the cymbals gradually.

The Park- Landscape at Burj

The Park,Burj Khalifa, Dubai_©Nick Merrick
The Park,Burj Khalifa, Dubai_©Nick Merrick

An 11-hectare area of gardens, trees, and water features is called “The Park,” and it is located at the base of the enormous Burj Al Khalifa. The Park’s irrigation system, which uses water recovered from condensation from the cooling system of the towers, is possibly its most notable aspect. The park receives around 15 million gallons of water annually from this, which is enough to fill 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The Park was created by the Sausalito-based SWA Group in partnership with SOM, who also worked on the tower’s design. The six water features in the park were created by WET, the company that created the Dubai Fountain.

Safety (fire evacuation) 

A successful design by an architect is inclusive of safety measures, and architect Adrian Smith, along with Emaar, has made sure that this marvel tower is designed for safety. The Burj Khalifa was designed with fire safety and quick evacuation in mind. All stairwells are enclosed by concrete, and the building’s service and fireman’s elevators will be the tallest service elevators in the world with a capacity of 5,500 kg. Since it will be difficult for people to descend 160 stories on foot, there are pressurised, air-conditioned refuge zones every 25 floors.


Aerial Closeup of Burj Khalifa During Construction_©Wikipedia
Aerial Closeup of Burj Khalifa During Construction_©Wikipedia

The architect, structural engineer, and other consultants worked together during the design process to construct the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) services for Burj Al Khalifa. A daily average of 946,000 litres (250,000 gallons) of water is provided by Burj Khalifa’s water system. Burj Al Khalifa will need roughly 10,000 tonnes of cooling at its peak, which is equivalent to the cooling power of about 10,000 tonnes of melted ice. 

Condensation is produced in large amounts due to the hot, humid weather in Dubai and the building’s cooling needs. This water is gathered and sent through a different pipe system to a holding tank in the underground parking lot. Approximately 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools’ worth of supplement water—or about 15 million gallons—is produced annually by the condensate collecting system. The gardens surrounding the tower are supplied with this water, which is being diverted.

Maintenance | Tallest Building In World Dubai

Ant View,Burj Khalifa, Dubai_©Nick Merrick
Ant View,Burj Khalifa, Dubai_©Nick Merrick

The Burj Al Khalifa, a mostly commercial structure, is renowned for both its breathtaking height and the stunning vista it offers. Designers have outlined a permanent maintenance method to preserve the durability of this view and prevent the dust on the glass panels from lingering over the landscape. For window washing and façade upkeep, 18 permanently installed track and fixed telescopic cradle building maintenance devices provide access to the tower’s outside. The track-mounted equipment is stored within the building in garages when not in use.



An artist and dreamer who works as an architect or designer. Part of her is intrigued by history, while the other is particularly curious about psychology and spirituality. She believes that architecture transcends physical places and is instead linked to human behaviour, giving every space a distinct identity.