Proposal to wrap Dubai's Burj Khalifa in reflective fabric

Think tank has proposed temporary design to cover world’s tallest building in spectacular exo-skeleton
Proposal to wrap Dubai's Burj Khalifa in reflective fabric
By Staff writer
Thu 13 Feb 2014 04:40 PM

A Dubai-based think tank has proposed wrapping the Burj Khalifa in a super lightweight, reflective fabric as part of the latest stunt to showcase the world’s tallest building.

Proposed by OP-EN, the EXO-BURJ project would see the casing reflect the building and its surroundings. It would also allow visitors to walk up the encasement.

“In the spirit of exploring creative potential in the public realm, Exo-Burj aims to create a fluid urban ambience by suspending a reflective fabric material around the 828m tower, complementing the structure's reflective facade,” OP-EN wrote.

“The end-result would amplify the visual perspectives of the city's skyline, augment the tower's symbol as an urban centre of gravity and create an artistic atmosphere on a vast architectural scale.”

Ahmed Salman, the founder and principal at OP-EN, told Arabian Business the proposed installation would be a temporary addition to the building and would be suspended off its central spire.

Opened in 2010, the tower has regularly been the focal point for fireworks and celebrations in Dubai. It has played host to a vertical catwalk show, seen movie star Tom Cruise stage stunts off the side of the building and last year Dubai Crown Prince, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was filmed waving a UAE flag from the top of the tower in celebration of Dubai’s successful bid to host the World Expo 2020.

Salman said the designs were currently at the concept stage and while the group had not approached developer Emaar Properties, it hoped to “soon” once more feasibility studies had been carried out.

A spokesperson for Emaar was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Arabian Business.

UPDATE: On February 16, Op-En posted the following statement on its website:

In response to the latest media coverage on the Exo-Burj project, OP-EN would like to clarify a few points:
(1) Exo-Burj, as noted on the actual project page, is primarily a thought experiment in the spirit of exploring creative potential in the public realm. As part of the OP-EN philosophy, various creative ideas are developed, pitched and presented as possibilities for further exploration and execution.
(2) At this point in time, Exo-Burj is not being taken forward by the developer nor has any interest been articulated.
(3) The design of the Exo-Burj is such that the proposed reflective fabric is not to touch the tower structure and therefore a ‘wrapping’ is not the most accurate description. The proposal is such that the fabric will interface with the tower at a certain distance achieving the desired reflective aesthetic and effect.

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