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Financing Finale: Kingdom Tower to Rule

Thursday, December 3, 2015

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Step aside, Burj Khalifa, your 16-year reign as the world’s tallest structure may soon come to an end.

That’s right, the Jeddah Economic Company and Alinma Investment have secured the funding needed to finish out the $2.2 billion Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, according to an official announcement by the Saudi government.

When complete, the massive building will stand at 3,280 feet with more than 200 floors. By comparison, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, reaches a height of 2,716 feet.

Jeddah Economic Company
©Jeddah Economic Company / Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

At 3,280 feet, Kingdom Tower will be completed in three years, developers say.

Currently spanning 26 floors, Kingdom Tower, near the Red Sea, is set to open in 2018.

"With this deal, we will reach new, as yet unheard of highs in real estate development, and will fulfill the company's objective of creating a world-class urban center that offers an advanced lifestyle, so that Jeddah may have a new iconic landmark that attracts people from all walks of society with comprehensive services and a multitude of uses," Mounib Hammoud, CEO of Jeddah Economic Company, said in a statement.

Sky-High Design

Designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, based in Chicago, the tower will boast the world’s tallest observation point (originally designed as a helipad) and will include a Four Season’s hotel, apartments and retail.

During his tenure with Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Smith also designed Burj Khalifa, which was completed in 2004.

The architects say Kingdom Tower will be “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.”

Funding for Kingdom Tower
Jeddah Economic Company

"With this deal, we will reach new, as yet unheard of highs in real estate development [...]," Mounib Hammoud, CEO of Jeddah Economic Company, said in a statement.

The project will feature a high-performance exterior wall system that will minimize energy consumption by reducing thermal loads, the architects noted in a project description.

Further, 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 firm stated.

AS+GG also designed the master plan for the Kingdom Tower Waterfront District that surrounds the tower and will include residential and commercial buildings, a shopping mall, outdoor spaces and other amenities.

The general contractor for the project is the Saudi Binladin Group.

Title Race

Iraq’s southern Basra Province is also in the race to snag the “World’s Tallest” title from Burj Khalifa, and potentially the Kingdom Tower, according to reports.

Developers there are planning to build a 3,779 foot “mega tall” skyscraper called the Bride Tower.


Tagged categories: Architects; Architecture; Building design; Color + Design; Commercial Buildings; Middle East

Comment from Tom Schwerdt, (12/3/2015, 9:56 AM)

Another building with an ego spire. *yawn* Start counting height at the highest normally occupied floor.

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