Burj Al-Arab Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates -
The Burj al-Arab (Arabic: برج العرب, "Tower of the Arabs") is a luxury hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, built by Said Khalil. It was designed by Tom Wright of WS Atkins PLC. At 321 metres (1,053 ft), it is the tallest building used exclusively as a hotel. It stands on an artificial island 280 metres (919 ft) out from Jumeirah beach, and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. It is an iconic structure, designed to symbolize Dubai's urban transformation and to mimic the shape of the sail of an Arabian boat dhow.
Construction of Burj al-Arab began in 1994. It was built to resemble the sail of a dhow, a type of Arabian vessel. Two "wings" spread in a V to form a vast "mast", while the space between them is enclosed in a massive atrium. Said architect Tom Wright, "The client wanted a building that would become an iconic or symbolic statement for Dubai; this is very similar to Sydney with its Opera House, or Paris with the Eiffel Tower. It needed to be a building that would become synonymous with the name of the country."
Several features of the hotel required complex engineering feats to achieve. The hotel rests on an artificial island constructed 280 meters offshore. To secure a foundation, the builders drove 230 40-meter long concrete piles into the sand. The foundation is held in place not by bedrock, but by the friction of the sand and silt along the length of the piles.
Engineers created a surface layer of large rocks, which is circled with a concrete honey-comb pattern, which serves to protect the foundation from erosion. It took three years to reclaim the land from the sea, and less than three years to construct the building itself. The building contains over 70,000 cubic meters of concrete and 9,000 tons of steel.
Inside the building, the atrium is 180 meters (590 feet) tall. During the construction phase, to lower the interior temperature, the building was cooled by half-degree increments over a period of three to six months. This was to prevent large amounts of "condensation or in fact even a rain cloud from forming in the hotel during the period of construction." This task was accomplished by several cold air nozzles, which point down from the top of the ceiling, and blast a 1 meter cold air pocket down the inside of the sail. This creates a buffer zone, which controls the interior temperature without massive energy costs.
The hotel cost $650 million to build.
Burj al-Arab characterizes itself as a "7-star" property, a designation considered by travel professionals to be hyperbole. All major travel guides and hotel rating systems have a 5-star maximum, which some hotels attempt to out-do by ascribing themselves "6-star" status. According to the hotel's official site, the Burj al Arab is a "5-star deluxe hotel".
The architect and engineering consultant for the project was Atkins, the UK's largest multidisciplinary consultancy. The hotel was built by South African construction contractor Murray & Roberts.
Article Copyright: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burj_al-Arab
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