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Burj Khalifa - Podium & Office Annex Developments

Dubai, UAE

A high-performance double skin atrium glazing system was used to improve solar performance.

Key Data


Dubai, UAE

Project Type

Leisure, Hospitality, Commercial, Mixed-Use, Iconic

Client / Developer

Emaar Properties

Architect / Consultant

SOM (Skidmore, Owings & Merrill)

Main Contractor

Samsung - Besix - Arabtec JV

Façade Area

35,000 sqm

Scope of Work

Design, supply, manufacture and installation of unitised curtain walling and structural glass assemblies.



Project Height

818 Meters

Date of Award


Date of Completion



The Burj Khalifa Tower is a multi-purpose, super-high-rise, skyscraper that was completed in record time by the joint venture of Samsung, BeSix and Arabtec sponsored by Emaar Properties. The tower has a total area of 479,830 SQM that includes hotel, residential, commercial, shopping, entertainment, observatory, communication and parking facilities. A high-performance exterior cladding system is employed to withstand the extreme temperatures during the summer months in Dubai. Primary materials include reflective glazing, aluminium and textured stainless steel spandrel panels and vertical polished stainless steel tubular fins accentuating the height and slenderness of the tower.


The podium provides a base, anchoring the tower to the ground, allowing on grade access from three different sides to three different levels of the building. Fully glazed entry pavilions constructed with a suspended cable-net structure provide separate entries for the Corporate Suites at B1 and Concourse Levels, the Burj Khalifa residences at Ground Level, and the Armani Hotel at Podium Level. High-performance, large glass units with stainless steel clamp fixing systems have been used considering thermal expansion, seismic loads, and movements of façade and main structure. Full height active shading devices with internal horizontal fins are also integrated with the façade.

Heavy-duty mobile cranes were used for the façade erection and lifting of large double glazed units by glass-suckers under the supervision of our engineers and supervisors. All glass joints were sealed from outside using monorail access.

Office Annex and Pool Pavilion

An open-air venue designed to host events, the Armani/Pavilion provides spectacular views of The Dubai Fountain and is exclusively managed by Armani Hotel Dubai.

All 12 levels of the project are clad with large units of 6m high by 1,5m wide.

Façade brackets were specially designed and engineered to allow fine adjustment in all directions of the installed segmented units.  The units were fully assembled off-site with sunshades, brackets, glass and stainless steel features.

External vertical stainless steel fins of 250mm depth were provided with steel stiffeners allowing for inner slim frames. The whole system was designed as a bespoke unitized system, tested to achieve the required air, water and acoustic performance as specified in the design drawings.

Large stainless steel cantilevered sunshades with integrated BMU tracks, floor-to-floor,  fixed onto façade frames; connection brackets onto mullion inserts transfer the sunshade loads to unit brackets and concrete slabs.  All Clear reflective fritted glass units are installed from outside.

Observation Decks

The ‘At the Top’, Burj Khalifa observation decks on level 148, 125 and 124 are a must-see attraction and offer breathtaking views of the city and the surrounding emirate.  The deck also features a beautiful outdoor terrace and holds the Guinness World Record for the highest observation deck in the world.

Laminated glass screens are designed with two-sided support at vertical freestanding stainless steel posts engineered to take high wind loads up to 6kPa and the live loads of the  ‘At The Top’ visitors. The installation of the large glass units was performed by specialist Al Abbar installers using special lifting equipment from outside at Level 124 / 125.