The plans for a 1km building with over 200 floors in Dubai sound like a comic book fantasy, but as Patchay finds out, it is indeed a reality in the making and certainly a great achievement for the human race.
Nakheel Tower is a mega-tall building being prepared for construction in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
A credible report projected the height of the tower would be 1,400m or 1.4km (4,593ft) tall, with about 228 floors, making it the world's tallest structure ever built and the world's first structure surpassing 1 kilometre in height!
The current record holder is Burj Dubai which is predicted to be 818m (2,684ft) when fully completed at the end of 2009, also in the same city of Dubai. Burj Dubai has 160 floors already completed.
The tower will be the focal point of the US$40 billion Nakheel Harbour and Tower complex, which will include about 40 smaller towers of up to 90 storeys, a marina, and part of the Arabian Canal development.
"Nakheel Harbour" will be the world's only manmade inland harbour.
The location of Nakheel Tower is marked by the red dot
The location of the tower is a plot adjacent to Nakheel's Ibn Battuta Mall (Discovery Gardens) development, neighbouring Jumeirah Islands, Jumeirah Park, Jumeirah Lake Towers and Dubai Marina.
The developer of the project is state-owned Nakheel, which also created The Palm and The World Islands in Dubai. The principal architect of the tower's latest design/masterplan is Australia's Woods Bagot.
In coming months, Nakheel will award contracts to a major contractor and to more than a dozen engineering firms from different countries.
Woods Bagot's latest design consisted of 4 towers (with 4 individual cores) connected with each other by up to 10 skybridges - at almost every 25-floor intervals. The reason to this is to allow wind to flow through freely and thus limiting the amount of sway of the extremely tall structure during windstorms.
There are spires at the pinnacle.
The Nakheel Tower alone is expected to take more than 10 years (divided into many phases) to be built. When completed, it is expected to house more than 80,000 people and a workplace for more than 45,000 people.
A comparison of the world's tallest towers - already built (left) and under-construction (right). The Nakheel Tower could be almost 3 times the height of Malaysia's Petronas Twin Towers.
Some staggering facts and figures:
- Total volume of concrete needed to build this tower is 500,000 m3.
- All of the reinforcing bars laid end to end could stretch from Dubai to New York (1/4 of the way around the world).
- 2 million m2 of tower and podium combined space, including more than 950,000 m2 of commercial, retail, cultural and exhibition space.
- Approximately 10,000 car parking spaces in Nakheel Tower.
- A bisected glassy retail podium of 100,000 m2, with direct access to parts of the 10km long Arabian Canal.
Nakheel Harbour and Tower is a new city within the city of Dubai
- The Nakheel Harbour district will incorporate a network of canals and a marine harbour at the base of Nakheel Tower.
- 14,000 residential apartments, including affordable homes, skyvillas and luxurious penthouses.
- 14 luxury hotels (within a single building) offering about 3,500 rooms. There will be a super luxury 100-room "7-star" boutique hotel occupying the highest floors of the tower.
- 156 high-speed double-deck lifts. The travel time for a member of the public going from the ground floor up to the highest observation deck will be less than 4 minutes!
- The building is so tall that it experiences 5 different microclimatic conditions over its height, each with individual design features.
- The temperature in the atmosphere at the top of the building could be as much as 10 degrees cooler than the bottom.
- Due to the high speed shuttle lifts, one may be able to see the sunset twice from the bottom and again from the top of the building.
- Extensive landscaping including mini parks and a promenade at the bottom of the tower.
Nakheel Tower will look like a monster if built in New York City
The Nakheel Tower was first conceived in 2003 as Al Burj. Ever since, its proposed name, location and design have changed a couple of times until it was officially announced on the eve of the first day of the Cityscape Dubai 2008 Exhibition on October 6.
With the global financial crisis worsening, astonishingly, foundation works has started; and are due to be completed by January 2010.
The project will probably consumed so much resources and that warehouses, supply and power facilities are being built on the tower's foundation site. [Photo courtesy of Imre]
The developer has mentioned that the foundation works will proceed as planned because the financing for the superstructure works will only start in a few years time.
"By 2011, when work on the tower's superstructure is due to start, the economic crisis may have passed, allowing Nakheel to proceed with work in a more benign financial climate."
For your viewing pleasure, visit Nakheel Harbour & Tower's official website at:
The author is impressed with creative ideas being used in building new communities. He is an urban development commentator-cum-researcher on Skyscrapercity (SSC) Malaysia with research portfolios overseas as well, such as Dubai and Chongqing. He can be contacted at email@example.com.