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Sheathed in glass and resembling a bloom, the Burj Al Alam is a crystal rose personified

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World records seem to tumble on a daily basis when it comes to architecture and construction in the United Arab Emirates. Once completed, the Burj Al Alam will claim another – tallest commercial tower.

Translated as World Tower, the Burj Al Alam was designed by Japanese firm Nikken Sekkei for the UAE-based Fortune Group and is an eye-catching hyperboloid structure inspired by the Arabian rose and Zen culture.

"The tower is designed to resemble a crystal flower, and features a six-storey crown where the petals of the bloom separate, forming a viewing deck," says Nikken Sekkei general manager Dubai, Fadi Jabri.

The crown will also house a restaurant, sky garden, private club facilities and more. The facade of the building, formed by six shafts that appear bound together at the centre, will be clad in reflective glass.

Syed Muhammad Ali, CEO of Fortune Group, says the 510-metre tower will total 108 storeys, with 74 storeys being designated office space, while another 27 will be made up of serviced apartments and a hotel, and four will feature a retail mall.

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"Such is the extent of the work involved in building the tower, that an estimated 180,000 man hours will be required to complete the piling works, along with 58,000m³ of concrete and 5000 tonnes of steel," says Ali.

First published date: 12 October 2009

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ProjectBurj Al Alam Architect/designers Nikken Sekkei Images courtesy of Nikken Sekkei