Mile high tower in Jeddah

(The Burj Khalifa, Dubai, currently the world’s tallest building)

What is it?

Seen in an article on The Age online yesterday, here, the proposed 1.6km tall Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is set to surpass the Burj Khalifa by almost 800m. Designed by Chicago architecture firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG), the tower recently received planning approval and was unveiled by members of the Saudi royal family last week. It will contain hotels, offices, apartments and a shopping centre – all up, 3.53 million square metres of space with a construction budget of a cool AU$28.5 billion.

Strangely, World Architecture News posted an article a week ago, here, quoting the director of public relations at AS+GG, Kevin Nance. Nance denied that the practice is working on the project and asserted that the consortium behind it have not yet named an architect.

What do we think?

We are not sure what to make of the conflicting reports surrounding this project, but regardless of whether or not it is real, we remain unimpressed by the long-running race to build  the tallest tower in the world. The Burj Khalifa, also designed by AS+GG, was completed in early 2010 – assuming a documentation and construction period for the Kingdom Tower of 4 years, it will have held the title for a mere 5 years. Surely $28.5 billion is a lot to invest in what is surely doomed to be yet another short-lived claim to tallest tower in the world?

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