Dubai’s Burj skyscraper grows to tallest building on planet

If you’ve been following the construction of the Burj skyscraper in Dubai, things are coming to a head pretty quick. Many of the lower floors are now complete with glass detailing, while floors on the top seem to keep appearing. I say “keep appearing” because nobody really knows how tall the building will eventually be, nor what the developers have in mind.

What we do know is that the building recently passed the height of the KVLY tower in North Dakota, the tallest (albeit least exciting) free stranding structure in North America, and is currently rocking about 694 meters, or about a half mile, tall.

Who knows how long the Burj will keep its record for the world’s tallest building; there are already several planned structures in the middle east that would compete in height with this building, including the “Mile High Tower” planned in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Over at, our friends have put together a pretty comprehensive media site detailing the construction of the behemoth, including a wealth of interesting photos. Check out Gadling’s gallery of the Burj as well as interesting trivia at Burjdubaiskyscraper.


Check out more weird buildings around the world:

Mickey Sets a Course for Shanghai

Mickey Mouse has been planning to bring Disneyland to Shanghai for some time now. Details have been sketchy and the project has been put on the shelf several times.

But people in one village are banking on the billionaire rodent to eventually get things off the ground.

According to Shanghaiist, business people and home owners in Jinjia have been building on to current structures and establishing new businesses. These would-be entrepreneurs are not hoping that Disneyland will be built nearby so that they can sell food and souvenirs to the theme park’s clientele. They are betting that Disney will want to buy them out so that the park can be built directly on top of the village. The new constructions and additions are an effort to make property seem more valuable in the eyes of Disney so that the buy-out prices will be higher.

However, the mouse has not yet chosen the exact location of the park. The residents of Jinjia are acting on pure speculation.

Disney is currently negotiating with Chinese officials in an effort to iron out the details, which allegedly include some sort of profit sharing scheme (Mickey sure knows how to get things done in China) There is the small matter of the 2008 Olympics, which are probably causing a bit of distraction amongst area bureaucrats.

While most people could care less if there is another Disneyland in the world, one village, a handful of Chinese government officials, and one shrewd mouse are waiting for ground to be broken with bated breath.

The world’s craziest houses

They say that “home is where the heart is,” but I have to wonder when I look at the at the “Gravity-Defying Homes” gallery over at design site PointClickHome. Perhaps the expression is better written as “home is where the crazy is?” Point Click Home’s gallery features a slideshow of some of the most surreal and interesting houses from around the world, including strange structures in Russia, The Netherlands, Indonesia, the U.S. and Canada, among others.

It’s hard to pick a favorite from this bunch. I think the Russian gangster house wins the award for the poorest planning – it’s probably because the owner was incarcerated before he was able to finish it (no joke). Meanwhile, the Dutch seem to be quite adept at building whimsical houses, offering an assortment of homes in the shape of cacti and cubes. And I have to hand it to the American houses – the “mushroom house” and “pod house” are certainly the most trippy.

While I can’t imagine these bizarre buildings are practical to live in, they certainly make for some great voyeurism. Check out the gallery below to see them all. And if you still haven’t gotten your fill, take a look at Justin’s post last year for some more examples.


[via Josh Spear]

Mini-Lyon to be built in Dubai. Sigh.

The fact that I left Dubai and continually seem to be ranting about the city here might make you think I hate it. Truth is, I don’t. I’ve just had enough of it, and would never want to live there again. The city does have its own charm, something I will write about when I’m inspired to. However, the idea of building a mini-Lyon in Dubai isn’t part of it.

You would think that a city that is hardly 40-years old and has no money issues, would put in some effort to nurture and display to the world a culture it can call its own. But it always takes pride in doing the exact opposite.

Dubai is a strange, though fascinating, concoction of everything it isn’t but wants to be. This is why people like me who have spent a significant amount of time there often perceive its new ventures to keep the city in the world’s limelight as superficial ludicrousness.

The project to build a mini-Lyon in Dubai that will copy the city and even reconstruct the cafes, cinemas and schools, will be a €500 million project due to finish in 2012.
Why do you want a mini-Lyon in Dubai? It’s going to be “a small city with the accent on the best of French culture, and particularly Lyon culture.” Lyon is the 3rd largest metropolitan in France with a history that goes back to the 1st Century BC. This is impossible to imitate to any level of significance in 4 years.

Why doesn’t Dubai understand that copying cities and building “only-possible-in-Dubai” structures and islands, creates nothing but a confusion over the very word ‘culture’. I suppose in Dubai they would call it “redefining culture”.

When Dubai plans things like this, I think it just reinforces the cultural crisis it is in, but will never admit. It probably won’t affect its tourism industry, so I guess it doesn’t matter. Sigh.

Leaning Tower of Pisa gets trumped

When we think of leaning buildings, it’s pretty obvious where our minds go — to Italy, where the Leaning Tower of Pisa has been making photos look off-kilter for years. But the Leaning Tower of Pisa is no longer the structure with the most pronounced lean — The Guinness Book of World Records has confirmed that a 13th-century church tower in the village of Suurhusen in Germany is the tower that leans the most.

The German tower leans 5.19 degrees, whereas the tower in Pisa only leans a paltry 3.97 degrees. The German tower is still in use, and gives out guided tours in order to raise money for the building’s upkeep.

(Via Neatorama)