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This webcast and video archive documents the BURJ DUBAI lecture series. In conjunction with the Museum's spring/summer 2007 exhibition, The Skyscraper Museum and The New York Academy of Sciences presented a lecture series exploring issues and ideas surrounding the construction of this superlative skyscraper and its geographic and historical context.

The BURJ DUBAI lecture series was presented in collaboration with the New York Academy of Sciences, and was hosted in the LEED Platinum 7 World Trade Center.


MAY 23
Supertallest: Designing Structure
William F. Baker, Partner SOM/Chicago, Chief Structural Engineer, Burj Dubai

Structural engineer William F. Baker, a partner in the Chicago office of SOM, and a specialist in supertalls, has designed several exceptionally slender skyscrapers of nearly 2000 feet or higher. Only Burj Dubai, though, has found financing and moved forward... or upward! In this lecture Bill Baker made clear the innovative form and structural system of Burj Dubai and explained how the tower was "virtually designed in the wind tunnel."

Extreme Building: The Challenges of Constructing Burj Dubai
Ahmad Abdelrazaq, Executive Director, Highrise Building and Structural Engineering Divisions, Samsung Corporation.

Burj Dubai added a story every three days to its concrete frame to finally become the world's tallest building, surpassing the former title-holder Taipei 101 at 508 meters. In January of 2009, Burj Dubai's height was finally announced to top off at 818 meters. New Yorkers can imagine the Chrysler Building stacked atop of the Empire State to have an idea of its height and volume.

Height, heat, and concrete are three basic challenges of this titanic project that was constructed by the high-rise experts of South Korea's Samsung Corporation. Turner International was the project and construction manager. The executive in charge of Highrise Building and Structural Engineering Divisions for the Samsung Corporation, general contractors Burj Dubai, explained the planning and execution on this unprecedented feat of skyscraper construction.

Why Dubai?

Dubai development strives for superlatives: artificial islands visible from space, the world's tallest building, largest maritime complex, shopping mall, and theme park, as well as the infamous indoor ski run, testify to the limitless ambition, imagination, and wealth driving Dubai's expansion. A panel of experts at work on a range of Dubai megaprojects, including developers, architects, engineers, and construction-industry executives, discussed the reasons why Dubai has become "the fastest-growing city in the world."

Robert Booth, Executive Director, Emaar North America
John Braley, Business Development Manager, Turner International
George Efstathiou, Managing Partner, SOM/Chicago
Jordan Gruzen, Partner, Gruzen Samton, LLP
John Mills, Project Director, Hyder Consulting Middle East Ltd.
Moderator: Robert Ivy, Editor in Chief, Architectural Record