A company backed by the Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is building the world’s tallest skyscraper in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Kingdom Tower in Jeddah will be the world’s tallest skyscraper with a height of 1,007 metre and it will be the first building to reach the height of 1 kilometre.
Jeddah Economic Corporation, part of the Kingdom Group, who are responsible for the development, said that the skyscraper was inspired by the “folded fronds of a young desert plant”.
Kingdom Tower will house a Four Seasons hotel and apartments, condominiums, offices and the world’s highest observation deck on the 157th level.
It was conceived around 2007 as the first phase of a $20 billion urban development, Kingdom City, which marks the gateway to the holy city of Mecca.
The Tower is designed by Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture, the architect of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the current highest building in the world.
The Burj Khalifa, which is at least 172 metres smaller has been the world’s tallest building since its opening in January 2010. The Tower will be more than 500 metres taller than the Willis Tower in Chicago and “The Shard” in London.
Although no exact completion date has been given, the Kingdom Tower is expected to be completed as early as 2017.
Recently the German company Bauer contracted to lay the foundation for the Kingdom Tower finished its work and the above-ground works are also done.
The foundation work involved installing very long piles deep into the desert ground. Thus 72 piles that were 1.5 metres in diameter were laid at a depth of 110 metres another 154 piles at various depths and another 44 piles of 1.8 diametres were laid 50 metres deep.
It is expected that the first 10 floors of Kingdom Tower will be built by the end of this year.
The Jeddah Economic Company has acquired six cranes to aid in building the massive structure. The cranes that are developed by German company Liebherr & WolffKran are built to withstand harsh meteorological conditions, especially winds. The biggest crane is a custom Liebherr type 357 HC-L. It will be able to lift 18 tonnes of materials at a speed of 44 metres a minute.
Location: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Architect: Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture
Height: At least 1000 metres, 173 metres higher than Burj Khalifa.
Construction time: Estimated at 63 months.
The tower will be served by 56 elevators.
The estimated cost of the building is 4.6 billion SR (about 1.2 billion USD)