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Monday, May 18, 2009

Burj Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

SOM designed interiors steam ahead within world's tallest building
As the long anticipated climax at the construction site of The Burj Dubai edges closer, the innards of the world’s tallest building are evolving at an even faster rate. International architecture consultancy, Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), announce that the interiors too will soon complete.

SOM are responsible for the design of the tower’s exterior and all lobbies, public and common spaces. A confluence of architectural and interior design influences from around the world and the Arabic region is expressed within the design.

“Burj Dubai’s interiors are mindful of the building’s prominent international address and its true purpose as home to a number of residents,” said Nada Andric, lead architect for the project,“while being inspired by the fascinating local culture and the challenge of enhancing the value of a global landmark.

“This unique approach is reflected in all aspects from careful planning of all the public areas, the subliminal reference to free flowing Arabic script, colours and materials and the implementation with an aim to showcase global technology and human achievement.”

Andric’s design approach was not to take literal, stereotypical translations for the region’s cultural influences but to turn to scholarship to develop the vocabulary inspired by the region’s history, culture understanding of the heritage of the Arabic world and its interpretation into spatial elements, the right choices of materials and a concerted effort to blend the traditional motifs and patterns with modernity.

Upon completion, Burj Dubai will be the tallest building in the world in all four categories recognised by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), which compiles and ranks the world’s tallest buildings. The tower, encompassing 160 inhabitable floors for residential, commercial, hotel, and entertainment facilities as well as the world largest shopping mall, topped off in January at 818m with little fanfare, the event barely reaching the press. The completion of the centerpiece of the US$20 billion Downtown Burj Dubai development in September this year is expected to be a much grander celebration.

Niki May Young
News Editor

architecture NOW

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