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Burj Dubai: Not without a parachute

Model of Burj Dubai

Tomorrow is the grand opening of the world’s new tallest building, the Burj Dubai in Dubai. It’s a “mere” 160 habitable stories, or 2,625 feet, twice as high as the Empire State Building.

It is, I’ll grant you, a stunningly beautiful structure — awesome in the truest sense of the word. But as a building for people to live and work in … uh uh, nope, no how, no way. Not me, baby. Not without wings or a parachute.

I don’t have a fear of heights; I just have good sense. At certain undetermined heights above the surrounding terrain, it becomes prudent to be airborne. Or possess the means to become so on a moment’s notice.

Mountain heights, for example, make sense. They are composed of and are a part of good ol’ Mother Earth. They’re just big hills. Your feet are still on the ground when you’re up there.

Man-made structures are okay, within reason. They’re nicest when they rise no higher than the longest fire ladder can reach. They’re tolerable if they’re broad-based, with lots of room inside for many ways of getting up and down from floor to floor. And if they stay nice and broad and solid as they continue to rise, that too is okay, for a while.

But any child with a set of blocks can look at buildings and tell you if people have any business being in them. Buildings precariously cantilevered out over cliffs or canyons. No. Buildings standing up on tall skinny stilts. Don’t be ridiculous. Extremely tall, skinny, obviously “tippy” buildings. Absurd!

I rest my case.

(and without going into my more adult theories about men and their competing phallic symbols …)

The Burj Dubai under construction

4 Comments »

  1. Transamerica Building, San Francisco- Touring with a design school. Upper floor utility closet. Tools were outlined on the pegboard. That way we could notice them swinging as the building swayed with the wind or what ever else was causing the building to move.

    Don’t need to go up there again. Evah!
    ________
    I understand why tall buildings need to sway a bit, but if it’s enough that I notice it, then I’m outta there. You can give me my physics and engineering lessons down on the street. I dunno how people work on the upper floors of the Sears Tower, for example, and probably pay more for the privilege besides. This Dubai tower looks like a lot of the top is just broadcasting towers and scaffolding. Cheap way to add extra feet if you’re a few short of beating out the Jones’ Boys’ tower. Another, even taller tower has been designed for Dubai, but one source the project has been scrapped for financial reason.

  2. Oh, dear, please, please don’t get into the phallic thing. It’s a simple fact that if you’re going to build a very tall building, shaping it like a vagina isn’t terribly practical. 😛
    __________
    Lol … I suppose not. Either way, I’m not going to be found at the top of a 160-story building. And I sure as hell wouldn’t go all the way to Dubai for the privilege, either.

  3. You’d like Washington, D.C., if it didn’t have politicians. No building there is taller than 12 stories or some such. Except the Washington Monument. But I won’t discuss the theory if you won’t.
    __________
    Yes, low profiles appeal to me. Not that I don’t appreciate the beauty of some tall buildings, and perhaps the perceived necessity of maximizing office/living space in a limited area like, say, Manhattan. But Manhattan also reminds me of a bunch of plants competing for the sun and only the tallest are going to get it and thrive.

    Oh, and now the “possibly related posts” are starting to show this little vertigo special:

    And yes, they renamed the tower at the last minute.

"Nothing is more dangerous than ignorance and intolerance armed with power." ~ Voltaire

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