The Tallest Building on Earth


Reading — Advanced Level
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The Burj Khalifa (Arabic for "Khalifa Tower"), is an enormous skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with a total height of 829.8m. The building has held the record for being the tallest structure in the world since 2008. The Burj Khalifa took five years to construct and its exterior is reinforced primarily by concrete. It was opened in 2010 as part of a new development called Downtown Dubai.

The Burj Khalifa was designed by Adrian Smith, whose firm designed the Willis Tower and One World Trade Center. Its design is derived from the Islamic architecture of the region, such as in the Great Mosque of Samarra. A buttressed central core and wings are used to support the height of the building. This core contains all vertical transportation with the exception of emergency stairs within each of the wings. It contains a total of 57 elevators and 8 escalators.
  1. Is it possible for someone to walk to the top of the building?

  2. What supports the tremendous size of the building?

  3. When was the Burj Khalifa deemed the tallest building in the world?

  4. The architectural design of the building is   in nature.

  5. Does the Burj Khalifa stand alone or is it near other buildings?


Practice your writing skills by discussing the questions below

  1. Would you like to stand at the top of the Burj Khalifa? Why or why not?

  2. Are you (or someone you know) scared of heights? If not, what are you scared of? If so, what does that fear of heights feel like?

  3. What is the tallest structure or natural formation you have visited?


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