Burj Mubarak al Kabir Kuwait by Eric Kuhne and Associates
This mammoth structure will rise to exactly 3284 feet, or 1001 meters. The height, in meters, is an allusion to the classic collection of Middle Eastern and South Asian folk tales One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, says London-based architect Eric Kuhne, whose firm designed the tower. To break the kilometer-high mark (which is 3281 feet), the $7 billion-plus Mubarak al Kabir will have three interlocked towers that support the overall structure. These towers, or “blades,” pinwheel about a triangular central shaft that holds elevators and mechanical equipment. Each blade twists 45 degrees as it rises, for strength, and expands slightly at the top. This Kuwaiti landmark will therefore place more mass and usable space near its zenith compared to other towers, says Kuhne, to avoid the structure having too thin and flexible a tip. To dissipate high-altitude, tower-buffeting gales that could blow at 150 miles per hour, the Mubarak al Kabir will see the first architectural deployment of vertical ailerons—the normally horizontal flaps airline passengers see on a plane’s trailing wing edge that help counter wind disturbances. “They will look like continuous ribbons running vertically along the six leading edges of the three blades,” Kuhne says. “As [the ailerons] are constantly moving, and catching the sun while they adjust, sunlight will glint off their surfaces. It will add a gentle rippling reflection to the edges of the blades that will add dynamic sparkle to the tower,” Kuhne says. The Burj Mubarak has a projected completion date of 2016.