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Wed 16 Nov 2011 12:23 PM

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Saudi’s Kingdom Tower weeks away from construction start

The 1,000m superscraper slated to take five years to build, at cost of $1.2bn

Saudi’s Kingdom Tower weeks away from construction start
Initial designs for the Jeddah-based Kingdom Tower show a mixed-used building

Construction work on Kingdom Tower, the 1,000m superscraper
set to steal the crown of world’s tallest building from Dubai’s Burj Khalifa,
is scheduled to begin within weeks, the architect firm behind the project has
confirmed

The $1.2bn tower, which is backed by Saudi billionaire Prince
Alwaleed, is the Gulf state’s most ambitious building yet and will be
constructed in three phases over five years.

“Construction of Kingdom Tower is scheduled to begin in
January,” a spokesperson from Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill
Architecture, designers of the superscraper.

Founding partner Adrian Smith was also the architect behind
the 828m-tall Burj Khalifa.

The giant structure will include a Four Seasons hotel,
apartments, offices, three lobbies on the upper floors and the world’s highest
observation deck on the 157th level.

It
will be located in the first phase of Kingdom City, a 5.3m mixed-use
development north of Jeddah, which overlooks the Red Sea and Obhur Creek.

Smith said in August the main lessons learned from designing
the Burj Khalifa that transferred over to Kingdom Tower centered on the stepped
or tapered tower design.

“Wind forces are significant in a tower of 1km,” he said.
"When the wind moves around a building, it creates negative pressure areas
behind the building, which creates little tornados or vortices, which push the
tower from side to side.

“One of the ways to mitigate that is to step the tower, or
slope it. Sloping is more effective but it is a little more expensive."

Prince Alwaleed’s investment firm said it planned to use a
mix of bank financing, cash and revenue from the project to build the Jeddah-based
skyscraper. The tower’s price tag is expected to be significantly less than
that of the $1.5bn Burj Khalifa, thanks to a decline in construction costs
following the financial crash.

Saudi Binladin Group in August won the deal to construct the
tower.

Prince Alwaleed told Arabian Business in August the project
would be “transformational”.

“These are the kind of projects l like to do,” he said.
“These big projects need vision, strength and guts to do.”

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Adam 8 years ago

I can not see any vision for building this tower. They are just copying Dubai and they talk about their own vision. Dubai shall remain in the forefront.

Anthonie 7 years ago

Great news! Vertical living is the future and Jeddah Kingdom Tower is a piece of the 22th century brought into our own. The design is beautiful, and when the project is completed it will be majesty to watch. It will rank among the great wonders of the world and help to solve the clogged horizontal city nightmare of today.. Vertical living is the future, it's green it's futuristic it's beautiful. These magnificent towers are the future of mankind. A brilliant project is becoming reality!