If you thought the Burj Dubai was about as high as they could ever go, the crazy property developers of that Arab city have come up with something even bigger, a skyscraper over 1 kilometre tall.
Called the Nakheel Habour & Tower it consists of four separate vertical strands arranged around a central void with numerous skybridges at various points connecting them together.
The upper floors give way to a curving exoskeleton which forms the pinnacle of the building like the nib of a pen, and which if the rumours are to be believed, will reach 1,140 metres in height with over 200 floors underneath.
The scale of the building services alone are mind boggling with in excess of 150 lifts having to be installed to carry the building population that will number tens of thousands, a massive task for even the most skill of service engineers to balance out.
Using the tallest elevators today that travel at 16.85 metres a second it could take over a minute to reach the top of the building and that’s without taking into account the difference in pressure over greater and greater altitudes that need to be stabilised for passenger comfort.
Elevators have been one of the main limiters on just how tall we can build – few people wish to spend minutes stuck in a small lift whilst occupiers like efficient journey times. How this is overcome to provide vertical transport journey times similar to what we enjoy in shorter buildings will see the technology pushed to new extremes.
To put this extreme height into context, if you built the Nakheel Habour & Tower from the bottom of the deepest part of the North Sea it would have over 300 metres of it sticking above sea level.
Like the Burj Dubai and many other record-breaking skyscrapers before it, the actual finished height is top secret with the developer worried someone else will come along and steal their thunder in the meantime. Nakheel are only willing to confirm the project is over 1,000 metres high.
In addition to the main tower, there will be a huge marina inspired by the ancient harbour of Alexandria and over 90 other towers of varying height that will take over a decade to all be completed and throughout this week we’ll look at the other towers of a similar class that are also being launched in Dubai right now – the 850 metre tall One Dubai, the 700 metre tall Anara, 600 metre tall One Park Avenue and 550 metre tall Meraas Tower.
This isn’t a pie in the sky idea. Nakeel has set up a sales office and work has already begun on site with the state-owned developer flush with cash and eager to beat their main rivals, Burj Dubai developer Emaar at their own game in getting the world’s tallest building on their books.