The competition to hold the title of the world’s tallest building has taken on a new challenger, as construction starts on the new skyscraper – the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia. This tower will measure a mind boggling one kilometre high, cost around $1.23 billion, and will require approximately 5.7 million square feet of concrete and 80,000 tonnes of steel.
The record for the world’s tallest building is currently held by another skyscraper in neighbouring Dubai, situated in the United Arab Emirates, called the Burj Khalifa. The Burj Khalifa stands at 829.8 meters, but the Kingdom Tower will dwarf this skyscraper by around 173.1 meters. The tower will be situated in the city of Jeddah, which is located on the coastline of the red Sea, making it a perfect attraction for visitors and holidaymakers. The construction will be 200 floors high, with a 98-foot terrace on the 157th floor.
The Kingdom Tower will be the centerpiece of a £13bn Kingdom City, and will feature over 5.3 million square meters of urban space, which will be used for housing, offices, hotels, shops, and much more. Inside the tower there will be 59 elevators, with five special double decker lifts, and those that travel to the observatory are thought to run at 10 metres per second.
The project is the brainchild of His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, who is the nephew of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, a partner in Jeddah Economic Company. Waleed Abdul Jaleel Batterjee, CEO of the Jeddah Economic Company said: “The vision of constructing the tallest tower in the world in Jeddah belongs to HRH Prince Al Waleed bin Talal. His vision is also that the project itself will set the world’s sights on our beloved Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and particularly on Jeddah. Furthermore, the project will help create hundreds of jobs for our Saudi countrymen.”
The ground and foundation work for the Kingdom Tower commenced in December and above the groundwork will start on April 27, with the completion of the building expected in 2019. The tower itself will include a hotel, with luxury rooms, serviced apartments, condominiums and offices. Of the 200 floors, over 160 are expected to be taken up with inhabitants. The tower, which is designed by Chicago-based architects Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture, is the first phase of the planned Kingdom City, announced back in 2008 and included in a $20 billion, two-square mile urban development project.
Architect Adrian Smith said in a recent press release: “Our vision for Kingdom Tower is one that represents the new spirit of Saudi Arabia,” said Smith, who has had much experience in designing supertall towers at SOM, including Jin Mao Tower in Shanghai, Nanjing Greenland Financial Center in Nanjing, China, the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago and Pearl River Tower, now in the late stages of construction in Guangzhou, China. “This tower symbolizes the Kingdom as an important global business and cultural leader, and demonstrates the strength and creative vision of its people. It represents new growth and high-performance technology fused into one powerful iconic form.”
Read more at KingdomTowerSkyScraper.com.
Images courtesy Adrian Smith+Gordon Gill Architecture / dapd