Compare or Contrast 2 Artworks. Free Essay

Published: 2023-08-27
Compare or Contrast 2 Artworks. Free Essay
Essay type:  Compare and contrast
Categories:  Culture Architecture Comparative literature Ancient history
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1434 words
12 min read

Architecture speaks the values and cultures within a particular era. Since the period of the inception of humankind, there has been a significant evolution of almost all aspects of human life, including the skin. Architecture has also undergone a similar evolution over time. One of the most eminent differences between modern and ancient architecture is the use of materials. In the older times, for example, stones and materials derived from stones formed the essential materials used in architectural designs, unlike in the modern architecture where glasses form the primary material in architectural constructions. As such, architecture has always been shaped by vision, conceived by necessity as well as celebrated as a heritage. This paper presents a comparison between the ancient architecture, i.e. the Egyptian pyramid and the Modern architecture, i.e. the Burj Kalifa, Dubai.

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The Egyptian Pyramid.

The Egyptian pyramids were constructed at a time when Egypt was one of the most powerful and richest civilizations in the world. It is believed that the pyramids were built at the end of the Old Kingdom to Ptolemaic period around fourth century A.D. Since the beginning of the Dynastic Era (2950 B.C) there were curving of royal tombs into the rocks that were covered with some flat-roofed structures that were referred to as mastabas. The first pyramid is believed to have been constructed in 2630 B.C (Allen and Peter 10). at Saqqara. Consequently, the rest of the pyramids were built from six stepped layers of stones as opposed to the initial pyramids that had been constructed from mud-brick to a height of about 62 meters (294 feet).

The Characteristics of the Egyptian Pyramids

The monumental pyramids, especially those of the Old-Kingdom were majorly built out of stone blocks while those of the later Middle kingdom was quite smaller and were made of mud-brick with a limestone casing. Granite was mainly used in the construction of the royal chambers within the pyramids. It is believed that almost 50,000 blocks of granite and 2.5 million blocks of limestone were used in the construction of each pyramid (Allen and Peter 8). The average weight of one block of granite was 2.2 tons. The capstone that was placed at the top of the structure was comprised of granite or basalt. Most pyramids were clad in some polished, white limestone that gave them a reflective appearance from a distance.

Egyptologists remain undecided on the exact method of building that could have been adopted in the construction of the Egyptian pyramids (Ammar 293). Many experts have particularly disagreed on the methods that had been used in laying the ramp, rollers as well as system levers. There is also controversy regarding the workforce employed during the construction of the pyramids and whether or not they were paid. It is essential to note that the significant challenge that could have been faced by the builders was how to move the heavy blocks of stones.

It is believed that the stones were lubricated with oil to ease their movements. Again, the builders used cradle-like machines to facilitate rolling of the heavy stones for the construction. It is believed that fork-lift truck could have been used in the construction of the pyramid (Ammar 294). Levers were also adopted in flipping and rolling of the stones.

Egyptian Pyramids

The Burj Kalifa, Dubai.

The Burj Kalifa, Dubai, is the tallest building in the world with a height of about 900meters. The structure is composed of three elements that are arranged around some central core. The Y-shaped structure characterized by the setbacks along each of the three wings is responsible for the provision of some stable and robust configuration for the building (Aldred 5). Again the 26 helical levels that decrease the cross-sectional area of the tower help in improving the stability of the structure.

Burj Khalifa is majorly adorned by 1000 pieces of international and prominent Middle Eastern artists. The evacuation for the construction of the multi-storey house began sometime in 2004. The building consumed almost 45000 cubic meters of concrete, weighing more than 110000 tonnes (Aldred 4). The foundation for the structure was laid using steel and concrete; for example, it used 330000 cubic meters of concrete as well as 39,000 tonnes of steel. The construction took 22 million working hours to reach its completion.

The entire project involved more than 380 skilled engineers as well as other on-site technicians. It is important to note that the structure recorded the highest glass façade and aluminium installation, which reached a height of about 512 metres (Abdelrazaq 7). It is postulated that the total length of the stainless steel used in the structure could be more than 290 times the height of the Eiffel Tower of France. The building was officially launched in January 2010. Adrian Smith is believed to be the man behind the architectural and structural design of the building. It is essential to note that the structure is hexagon core with three wings clustered around it for stability.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

The Y-shaped floor plan of the structure provides a higher performance as well as providing a full view of the Persian Gulf. It is argued that the shape, as well as the upwards setbacks, enable the structure to reduce the forces of wind that act on the building (Aldred 5). The central core of the structure is surrounded by thickened walls to minimize the moments and the shears that act like flanges and webs of the beams. The structure adopted high-performance concrete that guarantees high durability as well as reduced permeability. Some of the largest concrete pumps were used in pumping the concretes to a height of above 600 meters (Abdelrazaq 6).

Comparison between the Egyptian Pyramid and the Burj Khalifa.

In the event of gauging the vitality of architecture, it is essential to have a flashback and a comparison of the types of ancient buildings and the modern ones. It is important to note that ancient architecture such as the Egyptian pyramids was ornamental compared to modern structures such as the Burj Khalifa which are quite brutalize in nature.

The Egyptian pyramid, like any other ancient structures, was planned very splendidly and spread horizontally to some unfathomable distances. As such the pyramids were also literally spread out compared to the Burj Khalifa. For instance, modern architectures have been denied the privilege to have the structures spread horizontally due to space limitations. This could be the reason why Burj Khalifa was constructed more vertically than horizontally.

The other difference between the ancient Egyptian pyramids and the Burj Khalifa modern structure is on the materials used during their constructions. For instance, the construction of the Egyptian pyramids involved the use of stones such as limestone blocks. At the same time, the Burj Khalifa modern building adopted the use of concrete and steel reinforcements as well as stainless steel for reinforcements. The advancement in technology made it easier for the concrete to pump to the upper storeys. In contrast, in the construction of the Egyptian pyramid, it is believed that the blocks were lubricated and pushed to the upper grounds.

As such, limited technology was used in the construction of the Egyptian pyramids compared to the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It, therefore, follows that the number of the workforce involved in the construction of the pyramid was higher than those involved in the construction of the Burj Khalifa. It is essential to note that the significant challenge that could have been faced by the builders was how to move the heavy blocks of stones. However, Burj Khalifa adopted high-performance concrete that guarantees high durability as well as reduced permeability. Some of the largest concrete pumps were used in pumping the concretes to a height of above 600 meters.


In conclusion, architecture plays an essential role in speaking for its time and place. It is essential also to note that the ancient and modern architecture is much different. This is because modern architecture, such as the Burj Khalifa, results from the advancement in technology from ancient architecture. Even though there are some notable similarities, the significant difference between the architectural regimes falls on the materials used.

Works Cited

Abdelrazaq, Ahmad. "Design and construction planning of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE." Structures Congress 2010. 2010. Retrieved from

Aldred, James. "Burj Khalifa–a new high for high-performance concrete." Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Civil Engineering. Vol. 163. No. 2. Thomas Telford Ltd, 2010. Retrieved from

Allen, James Peter, and Peter Der Manuelian, eds. The ancient Egyptian pyramid texts. No. 23. Brill, 2005.

Ammar, Mohamed Gamal. "Evaluation of the Green Egyptian Pyramid." Alexandria Engineering Journal 51.4 (2012): 293-304. Retrieved from

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