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Old Posted Jan 5, 2010, 6:31 AM
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Chicago103 Chicago103 is offline
Future Mayor of Chicago
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Chicago
Posts: 6,054
First of all thank you IMRE for those INCREDIBLE pictures, especially those from the very tip top of the spire. In my head for months I was thinking "wouldnt it be cool to see what it looks like from the tip top of the spire of the Burj Dubai?!" but I thought I would never find it, you cant even find pictures taken from the top of the Sears (Willis) Tower's highest antenna.

In terms of the opening ceremonies and news coverage it has been quite impressive, certainly the most talked about new WTB since the Petronas Towers, arguably even eclipsing that (and that was only because it was the first to surpass the Sears Tower and arguably at that). The Taipei101 by contrast got relatively little media attention in comparison from what I recall.

The big surprise of course was the name change to the Burj Kalifha, the local Chicago media comparted it to the Sears Tower being renamed the Willis Tower. I almost wonder if they got the idea to change the name of the building on that.

On a side note while I love the design that is very reminiscint of the unbuilt mile-high "Illinois" skyscraper designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1956 there are a few things that bug me about it. It boasts breaking so many records and yet I can name a number of records that they could have garnished where they come short.

One is that the observation deck wont be the highest in the world, the Shanghai World Financial Center still will, in fact some stats I have read states that it will even be a few feet lower than the skypod of the CN Tower in Toronto. Thats kind of a bummer if someone like me travels half way across the world and I cant even say that I went higher than I can go on my own continent. Sure it will be higher than the Willis (Sears) Tower observation deck but thats an old standard now.

Second building on that its kind of awkward to have a 2,717 foot building where the top 1,250+ feet is totally inaccessible to the general public. Unless you know someone like IMRE you wont be able to see the most incredible views.

Third, there is a hotel but it is on THE LOWEST FLOORS of the building above the lobby, not even the highest hotel in Dubai by far. Again a bummer to travel halfway around the world to stay in the Burj and tell someone that I stayed on the 40th if I am lucky not because thats what I got but thats the highest hotel rooms there are.

Fourth, offices on the HIGHEST floors?! Thats the total opposite of most multi-use super tall buildings particularly in Chicago where a building like the John Hancock Center has offices on the lower floors. It almost seems undemocratic, you either have to be a rich oil sheik with an office or a lucky maintenence worker to get up there.

Fifth, while the highest residential floors will be the highest residences in the world for the time being (beating the 40 year record held by Chicago's John Hancock Center or maybe the Trump Tower if the very top residences are already occupied) the residences could have easily been much higher and put where the office floors are instead. From what I can guess if the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower was residential it would be higher than the highest residences in the Burj. If the Chicago Spire ever gets built it will blow the world's highest residences out of the Burj's water.

I am sorry to go on a tangent about this but it just REALLY bugs me when I read these details of the interior of the Burj. If anyone has any insight as to why these things are the way they are please share.
Devout Chicagoan, political moderate and paleo-urbanist.

"Auto-centric suburban sprawl is the devil physically manifesting himself in the built environment."
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