Move over, Burj Khalifa – there’s a new contender for the world’s tallest building in the Arabian Peninsula.
At over 1,000 meters and with a total construction area of more than 530,000 square meters, the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia will be the tallest structure in the world upon its projected completion in 2017, beating out the current Dubai record holder by at least 173 meters.
The massive skyscraper, designed by AS+GG Architecture, is to be the centerpiece of an aggressive development plan called Kingdom City, which will sit near the Red Sea. "This tower symbolizes the Kingdom as an important global business and cultural leader, and demonstrates the strength and creative vision of its people,” says architect Adrian Smith. “It represents new growth and high-performance technology fused into one powerful iconic form.”
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Construction costs are estimated at $1.2 billion for the multi-tiered behemoth, which will boast the world’s highest observation deck, a Four Seasons Hotel, premium office space and luxury condominiums. “With its slender, subtly asymmetrical massing, the tower evokes a bundle of leaves shooting up from the ground – a burst of new life that heralds more growth all around it,” says Smith.
Another impressive feature of the project is the 59 state-of-the-art elevators, with those serving the observatory floor traveling at more than 10 meters per second. The Tower will sit on a 23-hectare Waterfront District with a large lakefront, shopping malls, residential areas and parks.
The Tower was originally planned to be 1.6 kilometers (1 mile) high, but after extensive tests of the soil and geography the height was reduced to around 1,000 meters – more than enough to win it standings as the world’s tallest. Construction was scheduled to begin in January.