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Jeddah Tower: 6 Facts About The World’s Next Tallest Skyscraper

Jeddah Tower

By 2020, a new skyscraper – Jeddah tower, Saudi Arabia will stretch 3,280 feet into the sky and become the world’s next tallest skyscraper. The Jeddah Tower will stretch around 563 feet taller than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It will serve as the centerpiece for a larger redevelopment called the Jeddah Economic City.

Kingdom Holding Company, the development firm behind Jeddah Economic City, is billing it as a city of the future. Designed by HOK Architects, the city will host energy-efficient homes, shops, a transit system, and offices. The tower will also contain a Four Seasons hotel, serviced apartments, office space, luxury condominiums, and the world’s highest observatory.

According to the local paper Times of Oman, the construction of Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture’s Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia is now back on track after some delays. Hisham Jomah, chief development officer at JEC, confirmed to the Times of Oman that technical issues with the concrete had meant that alterations to the design had to be made, which had delayed construction.

When complete, the skyscraper in Jeddah will rise at least 1,000 meters (3,281 feet), overtaking the 828-meter-tall (2,716 feet) Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is currently the tallest building in the world.

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture designed the skyscraper, which will feature a pointy summit and over 200 floors.

The building’s 157th floor will have the world’s tallest observation deck. For perspective, the deck will rise 55 stories higher than the one at Manhattan’s Freedom Tower. The Jeddah Tower will cost Jeddah Economic Company and Alinma Investment — the two groups financing the project — roughly $2.2 billion.

The city’s construction will cost approximately $20 billion, stretch over two square miles, and open as early as 2026. The project is one of several ready-made cities that Saudi Arabia is building. The developers hope that Jeddah Economic City will attract “investors, tourists, as well as business opportunities that will break global records, becoming the first of its kind in city life.”

Inspired by a bundle of leaves shooting up from the ground, it is meant to emanate the growth, prosperity, and regional emergence of its homeland on the global stage, a role that many of the world’s tallest buildings have played in their respective locales.

The multivariate form of the tower is rationalized by a “Y”-shaped plan and a continuously smooth taper, which will significantly reduce structural loads by obviating the need for the complicated outrigger transfers and belt trusses required in a setback approach. Furthermore, each wing of the tower will terminate at different heights, allowing them to taper at different rates and establish a distinct three-part spire.

A series of balconies interrupt the smooth exterior, serving to provide both a cool outdoor element for occupants and shading for the tower’s surface, reducing direct solar radiation. At the very top, a massive penthouse will allow a tenant to reside at the crown of the building. Originally designed as a helipad, a circular sky terrace protrudes from one of the top levels, a feature that will be the highest of its kind in the world. 

6 Facts About The World’s Next Tallest Skyscraper

  1. The structure, formerly known as the Kingdom Tower, will be home to the world’s highest observatory. It will also have a separate, 98-foot-diameter outdoor balcony, which was originally intended to be a helipad.
  2. The building is so big they are unable to show it realistically in one rendering. Only elevations and birds-eye views can contain the entire project. Imagine those construction drawings.
  3. Its shape is functional. The narrowing silhouette has to fight the wind as well as gravity, so the three-sided shard is designed to be aerodynamic. The taper also helps maximize usable/rentable area. It offsets the large core size on the lower floors by widening the base, while the shape also narrows the core overall, making it less space-consuming at the top.
  4. Jeddah Tower will have 59 elevators and 12 escalators, and five of these elevators will be double-decker. The lifts will not reach the speeds of normal elevators, as the change in air pressure at those altitudes would cause nausea. Three sky lobbies will prevent any elevator from having to go all the way to the top, eliminating the need for excessively huge cables.
  5. It has high-tech features. A high-performance exterior wall system, including low-conductivity glass, will minimize energy consumption by reducing thermal loads.
  6. There are super-cool patios all along its three sides. Each side features a series of shaded notches where outdoor terraces offer extreme views of Jeddah and the Red Sea.

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