Al Burj

At a height of 1,000 meters Al Burj was to be the world’s tallest building. Originally intended as the iconic landmark of the Jumeirah Palm Island the site was later moved to the Dubai Waterfront, a planned city for over 500,000 inhabitants near Abu Dhabi. Unlike other super tall towers Al Burj was not designed as a conventional tower stretched to great heights but was fundamentally configured to acknowledge the unique life safety and technical challenges of a 200-story building. While the project was abandoned PEI’s design innovations remain applicable to very tall buildings.

LOCATION: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

CLIENT: Nakheel Division of Dubai World

SIZE: 8,998,629 SQ.FT/836,000 SQ.M

STATUS: Unbuilt

CATEGORY: Hospitality

The building was configured as three functionally separate towers joined by sky bridge elements, creating gardens in the sky. Vertical openings between the towers would bring light into the central area and reduce wind loads on the structure. Uniquely for a very tall tower large floor plates were maintained all the way to the hotel at the top, providing extra structural stability and functional floor plans where the value was highest.

All major building systems were designed with a minimum of three redundancies so that in the event of failure of any one of them the integrity of the building remained uncompromised.