The record for world’s tallest building has been broken many times over the last century (no small feat, given the immense costs and engineering difficulties required to stack more and more floors on top of each other.) The current record holder is the Burj Khalifa, rising imperiously out of the sands of Dubai. The Burj Khalifa stands at a stunning 829.8m (2722 ft.,) nearly 700 ft. taller than the second tallest structure in the world and its symbolic place in the modern world is perhaps as noteworthy as its structural accomplishments.
Not only is Burj Khalifa the world's tallest building, it has also broken two other impressive records: tallest structure, previously held by the KVLY-TV mast in Blanchard, North Dakota, and tallest free-standing structure, previously held by Toronto's CN Tower.
Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith then of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), whose firm also designed the Willis Tower and the 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 of Burj Khalifa is derived from patterning systems embodied in Islamic architecture, incorporating cultural and historical elements particular to the region such as the spiral minaret. The Y-shaped plan is designed for residential and hotel usage. A buttressed core structural system is used to support the height of the building, and the cladding system is designed to withstand Dubai's summer temperatures. A total of 57 elevators and 8 escalators are installed, with the elevators having a capacity of 12 to 14 people per cabin.
Critical reception to Burj Khalifa has been generally positive, and the building received many awards. However, the labor issues during construction have been controversial, since the building was built primarily by workers from South Asia and East Asia, who earned low wages and were reportedly housed in poor conditions.
The 828-metre Burj Khalifa cost £1billion to build.