Spanish architect to build world’s tallest building in Dubai

© Emaar Properties

CONTROVERSIAL Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava Valls, designer of the World Trade Centre transport hub in New York, Turning Torso skyscraper in Malmo, and roof of the Athens Olympic stadium, is to design a new building in Dubai which is set to be the world’s tallest.

The project will be constructed by developers Emaar Properties, who also built the iconic Burj Khalifa, currently the planet’s tallest building at 830 metres and also located in Dubai.

Emaar have not yet confirmed exactly how tall the new structure will be, saying only that it will be ‘a notch’ more than Burj Khalifa.


The $1bn (€900m) building is scheduled to be completed for the Dubai Expo trade fair in 2020, and is expected to feature a hotel, restaurants, residential units, a rooftop courtyard and 18-20 floors of commercial premises.

It will comprise a smooth structure rising to a needle-point tip and feature plant-filled observation decks plus glass balconies with the ability to rotate externally in relation to the walls of the tower.

It will be the centrepiece of the Dubai Creek redevelopment project, which aims to breathe new life into the old centre of the city.

Calatrava held a press conference alongside Emaar chief Mohamed al Abbar on Tuesday April 12 to confirm that work will begin next June or July. He said: “It is a great honour to be involved in such a special project. My team and I have put all of our hearts into this project, because great things only come from the heart.”

He added that he wanted to include a “clear reference” to classical art in his design.

“The materials we will use will be of modern engineering, mostly resistant glass and cables, which will join the structure with the ground, and whose design is inspired by the delicacy of lily leaves.”


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