Race to the top: Saudi Arabian developer secures funding to build world's tallest tower
- Saudi Arabia has announced its plans to challenge Dubai’s Burj Khalifa tower for the title of world’s tallest building by constructing the $1.23 billion, 3,280-foot-tall Jeddah Tower, part of the larger $2.2 billion Jeddah City, beating Burj Khalifa by 564 feet.
- The skyscraper, which overlooks the Red Sea, is now fully financed and is already built to the 26th floor, according to CNN. The 170-story tower is scheduled for completion in 2020 and will use 5.7 million square feet of concrete and 80,000 tons of steel. The 200-foot-deep foundations are designed to withstand salt water.
- Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture designed the tower to withstand wind loads by changing its shape every few floors, allowing the wind to go around the building. Council on Tall Buildings Director Sang Dae Kim said a building twice the height of the Jeddah Tower would be feasible with current construction methods.
"With this deal, we will reach new, as yet unheard of highs in real estate development, and will fulfill the company's objective of creating a world-class urban center that offers an advanced lifestyle, so that Jeddah may have a new iconic landmark that attracts people from all walks of society with comprehensive services and a multitude of uses," said Mounib Hammoud, chief executive officer of project developer Jeddah Economic Company.
However, Saudi Arabia’s fight for the title of world’s tallest building may very well be in vein if Iraq has its way. AMBS Architects group in Iraq has proposed a 3,780-foot-tall skyscraper, dubbed "The Bride of the Gulf," for Basra Province, Iraq. If the building makes it out of the planning stage and is actually built, it would surpass Jeddah Tower by 500 feet. Like Jeddah City, The Bride tower, which developers refer to as a vertical city, is part of a larger, mixed-use development.
Skyscrapers like Burj Khalifa and Jeddah Tower are considered "mega tall," or taller than 1,968 feet. Towers higher than 984 feet are considered "super tall." There were a record number of "super tall" towers built in 2014, according to the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. Those included the One World Trade Center in New York City, at 1,776 feet.
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