Kingdom Holding’s HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal said that the 1,050m high skyscraper in the Red Sea port city would be finished “in 63 months”.Burj Khalifa, the 2,717-ft high tower, will continue to hold the title for the tallest building in the world, at least, till 2017.
Expected to cost $1.2 billion to construct, Kingdom Tower will be a mixed-use building featuring a luxury hotel, office space, serviced apartments, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observatory. Kingdom Tower’s height will be at least 173 meters (568 feet) taller than Burj Khalifa, which was designed by Adrian Smith while at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
AS GG’s design for Kingdom Tower is both highly technological and distinctly organic. With its slender, subtly asymmetrical massing, the tower evokes a bundle of leaves shooting up from the ground—a burst of new life that heralds more growth all around it. This symbolizes the tower as a catalyst for increased development around it.
The sleek, streamlined form of the tower was inspired by the folded fronds of young desert plant growth. The way the fronds sprout upward from the ground as a single form, then start separating from each other at the top, is an analogy of new growth fused with technology. While the design is contextual to Saudi Arabia, it also represents an evolution and a refinement of an architectural continuum of skyscraper design.
The three-petal footprint is ideal for residential units, and the tapering wings produce an aerodynamic shape that helps reduce structural loading due to wind vortex shedding. The Kingdom Tower design embraces its architectural pedigree, taking full advantage of the proven design strategies and technological strategies of its lineage, refining and advancing them to achieve new heights.
The result is an elegant, cost-efficient and highly constructible design that is at once grounded in built tradition and aggressively forward-looking, taking advantage of new and innovative thinking about technology, building materials, life-cycle considerations and energy conservation.
For example, the project will feature a high-performance exterior wall system that will minimize energy consumption by reducing thermal loads. In addition, each of Kingdom Tower’s three sides features a series of notches that create pockets of shadow that shield areas of the building from the sun and provide outdoor terraces with stunning views of Jeddah and the Red Sea.
The great height of Kingdom Tower necessitates one of the world’s most sophisticated elevator systems. The Kingdom Tower complex will contain 59 elevators, including 54 single-deck and fi ve double-deck elevators, along with 12 escalators. Elevators serving the observatory will travel at a rate of 10 meters per second in both directions. Another unique feature of the design is a sky terrace, roughly 30 meters (98 feet) in diameter, at level 157.
It is an outdoor amenity space intended for use by the penthouse floor. The area surrounding Kingdom Tower is known as the Kingdom Tower Waterfront District. Designed by AS GG, the 23-hectare Waterfront District provides a cohesive and pedestrian-friendly setting for the magnificent Kingdom Tower while creating a pleasant neighborhood experience nestled along the Kingdom City lakefront.
The Kingdom Tower Waterfront District encompasses a high-end shopping mall and additional development parcels that accommodate commercial and high-density residential uses, offices, two luxury hotels and high-quality open spaces, including the central Tower Plaza.
A serene waterfront promenade connects Kingdom Tower, the various development parcels, the open space areas and the mall together. The result is an exciting mixed-use area that offers a concentrated and comprehensive experience including vibrant shopping, entertainment and open-space amenities. The Waterfront District also provides an array of connections to other areas within Kingdom City’s overall master plan, designed by HOK Architects.
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal speaks at a news conference in Riyadh August 2, 2011. Prince Alwaleed unveiled plans to build the world’s tallest tower in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, signing a 4.6 billion riyal ($1.23 billion) contract with Bin Laden Group.
Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal speaks near a model of the world’s tallest tower during a news conference in Riyadh August 2, 2011. Prince Alwaleed unveiled plans to build the world’s tallest tower in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, signing a 4.6 billion riyal ($1.23 billion) contract with Bin Laden Group.
Architects Gordon Gill and Adrian Smith.
© Jeddah Economic Company/Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
(Project Design architects: Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill)