By Parag Deulgaonkar

Can a tower twice the height of Burj Khalifa’s 828-metre be built?

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa

A top structural engineer, who worked on designing the world’s tallest tower, says the Burj Khalifa’s “buttressed core design” holds the key to building super skyscrapers of the future.

William Baker, a structural engineer at Skidmore, Owings and Merrill who worked with Adrian Smith on designing the system that allowed Burj Khalifa to be built, believes the buttressed core design can be used to build structures even taller than the world’s tallest tower.

“We could go twice that or more,” he told

The buttressed core design is a kind of three-winged spear that allows stability, viably usable space (as in not buried deeply and darkly inside a massively wide building) and limited loss of space for structural elements.

Calling a skyscraper design “a fairly serious undertaking,” Baker says it’s totally feasible to build much taller than even the one-kilometre high Kingdom Tower, which is expected to be completed by mid-2017.

“We could easily do a kilometer. We could easily do a mile.”

Though the buttressed core would probably have to be modified to go much higher than a mile, Baker reveals that other systems could be designed. And, he is working on some of them now. More info