Every blogger who gives a toot about sustainable building fell over themselves earlier this year to mock Saudi’s mile high tower. We all bought the story without really thinking about what such a tall building might look like; but there’s a very good reason we fell for what turned out to be a dirty news leak: absurd stuff like this actually happens in the Middle East.
Recently a billionaire Sheikh from Abu Dhabi etched his name – Hamad- into the sands of a one mile stretch of island. His self-aggrandizing graffiti is visible from space. And Dubai has the 2,651 foot Burj al Khalifa tower. Perhaps feeling left out of the cockshow, Saudi has now officially commissioned Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill to design a 3,280-foot spacescraper – skyscraper just doesn’t seem high enough- that will surpass the Burj as the world’s next tallest tower.
World Architecture News recently announced that Dubai will not bid for the Olympics because it needs to focus on its own security and peace, showing uncharacteristic restraint. Saudi Arabia shows no such thing.
His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, nephew of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah and chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, today announced this newest disastrous addition to a slew of flashy Arab projects that always have disastrous environmental ramifications.
Part of the 17.4 million square foot Kingdom City development project, the Kingdom Tower alone will take up 5.7 million square feet of north Jeddah, a sea port town along the Red Sea and the gateway to Saudi Arabia’s holiest city Mecca.
568 feet taller than the world’s current tallest building, Dubai’s also designed by Adrian Smith while at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the Kingdom Tower will feature a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, Class A office space, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observatory.
Construction of the $1.2 billion tower is expected to begin as soon as possible and the entire Kingdom City project is anticipated to cost at least $20 billion.