72" x 60" oil paint canvas, 2012
Experience in Dubai
The dry hot desert air in December cracked my skin. Speeding down the highway in the United Arab Emirates, my taxi driver was heading straight for Downtown Dubai. Out of the barren sand shot up enormous modern pristine skyscrapers. The futuristic city appeared to be from an era well beyond our time. 10 miles away, I could see the tall silhouette of the building that I had come to capture, The Burj Khalifa -- the tallest building in the world. At 830 meters tall, the tower dominated the skyscraper-filled skyline. Driving closer and closer, I could no longer see the top from inside the car. The building was a giant unrivaled among its peers.
That night, the Dubai Fountain, with jets and a light show choreographed to music, would play a concert for all to enjoy. -T.J. Mueller
About the Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
With a total height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft) and a roof height (excluding antenna) of 828 m (2,717 ft), the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure in the world since its topping out in late 2008. ￼It is also called "Burj Al Arab" for being the tallest building in United Arab Emirates. It was later named "Burj Khalifa" on the 3rd anniversary in 2011.
Construction of the Burj Khalifa began in 2004, with the exterior completed five years later in 2009. The primary structure is reinforced concrete. The building was opened in 2010 as part of a new development called Downtown Dubai. It is designed to be the centrepiece of large-scale, mixed-use development. The decision to construct the building is reportedly based on the government's decision to diversify from an oil-based economy, and for Dubai to gain international recognition. The building was originally named Burj Dubai but was renamed in honour of the ruler of Abu Dhabi and president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan; Abu Dhabi and the UAE government lent Dubai money to pay its debts. The building broke numerous height records, including its designation as the tallest tower in the world.
Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith, then of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), whose firm designed the Willis Tower and One World Trade Center. Hyder Consulting was chosen to be the supervising engineer with NORR Group Consultants International Limited chosen to supervise the architecture of the project. The design is derived from the Islamic architecture of the region, such as in the Great Mosque of Samarra. The Y-shaped tripartite floor geometry is designed to optimize residential and hotel space. A buttressed central core and wings are used to support the height of the building. Although this design was derived from Tower Palace III, the Burj Khalifa’s central core houses all vertical transportation with the exception of egress stairs within each of the wings. The structure also features a cladding system which is designed to withstand Dubai's hot summer temperatures. It contains a total of 57 elevators and 8 escalators.