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How the world’s tallest skyscraper was built - Alex Gendler

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  • TEDEd Animation

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In 2004, construction began on a new building in Dubai, promising a revolutionary design that would dwarf the rest of the world’s skyscrapers. Five years later, the 828-meter Burj Khalifa was complete, surpassing the previous record-holder by over 60%. What innovations allowed for such a huge leap in height? Alex Gendler digs into the architecture of this unprecedented project.

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About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director WOW-HOW Studio
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Sergey Yaroshenko, Alexander Laptev
  • Animator Dmitriy Zaharchuk, Yevhenii Tomynets
  • Art Director Marianna Murashko, Andrew Piskarjow
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Music Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more
Additional Resources for you to Explore
The architecture firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which designed the Burj Khalifa, has more key facts and statistics on their website. You can also read more about skyscraper construction, the buttressed core design, and the innovations of Fazlur Khan, as well as the ongoing controversy over migrant rights in the Gulf.

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Create and share a new lesson based on this one.

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Educator Alex Gendler
  • Director WOW-HOW Studio
  • Narrator Addison Anderson
  • Storyboard Artist Sergey Yaroshenko, Alexander Laptev
  • Animator Dmitriy Zaharchuk, Yevhenii Tomynets
  • Art Director Marianna Murashko, Andrew Piskarjow
  • Sound Designer Stephen LaRosa
  • Music Stephen LaRosa
  • Director of Production Gerta Xhelo
  • Editorial Director Alex Rosenthal
  • Producer Bethany Cutmore-Scott
  • Editorial Producer Dan Kwartler
  • Fact-Checker Eden Girma
  • See more