With an ambitious goal of becoming the world's tallest building and so few hard facts available, you could be forgiven for feeling a little skeptical about the chances of Santiago Calatrava's Dubai Creek Tower being built. There's a long way to go yet, but the project is off to a fine start and its foundations were recently completed.
The Dubai Creek Tower (previously called the Dubai Observation Tower) is the centerpiece of a larger development named Dubai Creek Harbor that includes residences, shopping, and office space. It being developed by Burj Khalifa developers Emaar Properties, along with Dubai Holding.
It's quite novel structurally and will be anchored with stay cables, a little like a bridge. This makes some sense, as Calatrava is best known for his bridge construction. Design-wise, it draws inspiration from the traditional Islamic minaret and the lily plant, and resembles an oversized dart pointed toward the heavens. The interior will include multiple observation decks promising amazing views of Dubai.
Bearing in mind the tower is still in its relative infancy, it's already enormous in scale, as highlighted by some figures released.
It has already involved over a million hours of work, with 170,000 cubic meters (6,003,493 cubic ft) of soil removed for the foundations. Some 211,200 tons of concrete has been poured and over 145 concrete piles have been laid at depths of over 72 m (236 ft), to ensure the stability of the structure.
"The design and architectural features of The Tower demand unique engineering approaches that are currently being implemented on site," says Santiago Calatrava. "Extensive studies were undertaken in preparation for the ground-breaking, and the learning that we have gained from the experience will add to the knowledge base of mankind.
"With no similar super-tall structures in the world, Emaar has undertaken a completely new approach to wind-engineering and seismic tests, which have already been completed. Every aspect of The Tower is designed to the highest international standards of safety – from the choice of materials to the technology being deployed in its construction."
Work on the anchors for the stay cables is ongoing and we can expect more information on the Dubai Creek Tower to follow as it races towards its planned 2020 completion date – including, hopefully, its official height.
All we know at the moment is that the team says it will be the world's tallest tower, which means it must surpass the Burj Khalifa's 829.8 m (2,723 ft). We should also point out that even if it does manage this, the 1,007 m (3,303 ft)-tall Jeddah Tower will likely dwarf both buildings in height when it gets built.
The video below highlights progress on the Dubai Creek Harbor development, including the Dubai Creek Tower.