September 8th 2011
Saudi Arabia is set to snatch the title of world’s tallest building title from Dubai with plans for a one kilometre high super-scraper.
The tower, which will take $1.2 billion and five years to build, will include a FourSeasons hotel, apartments, offices, the world’s highest observatory, 59 lifts and, for a buyer with a head for heights, a penthouse with sky terrace on the 157th floor.
The superscraper is the first phase of the £20 billion Kingdom City development run by Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, nephew of King Abdullah. The project, based on the shores of Jeddah, is intended to diversify the Saudi economy away from crude oil, and represents how the nation is opening its borders to international investment.
The prince initially wanted to build the tower a mile high, but abandoned the proposals because he was worried the soil would not support its foundations. The final height is being kept under wraps, although it is expected to be the world’s first building to pass the one kilometre mark (the world’s current tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, measures in at 827 metres).
The project teams includes key members behind the Burj Khalifa, including the developer Emaar Properties and architect Adrian Smith, now of AS + AG Architecture.