skyscraper

After a five-year pause, construction on the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia is back on track. Set to become the world’s tallest skyscraper, the tower was designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. 

 When completed, the skyscraper will reach a height of 1 000m, surpassing the iconic Burj Khalifa by 172m. Interestingly, the Burj Khalifa was also designed by Adrian Smith while at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. 

 Construction initially began in 2013 but the scheme faced many delays, including a pause in 2018 and further setbacks due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the initial contractor was replaced during the 2017-2019 Saudi Arabian purge. 

 New contractor bids 

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Approximately one-third of the building has been completed, having progressed to level 50 out of 157, with the piling and foundational works already done. The developer, Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), is now seeking new contractor bids to finish the project. Several international contractors have been invited to submit complete proposals by the end of 2023, along with an exact timeline for the project’s completion. 

Design 

Designed to be a mixed-use building, the skyscraper will boast the world’s tallest observation deck, a Four Seasons Hotel, residences and offices, and is part of a major revitalisation of Jeddah’s urban core. The design also optimises residential space with a “three-petal footprint”, creating an aerodynamic shape that reduces wind loading. Additionally, the tower’s elevator system is expected to be one of the most sophisticated worldwide, travelling at speeds of 10m per second. 

Progressive cityscape 

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The design optimises residential space with a “three-petal footprint”, creating an aerodynamic shape that reduces wind loading. Courtesy of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

Saudi Arabia has been innovating with many international architects to shape its cities into becoming beacons of future progress. In Jeddah, Heatherwick Studio has recently unveiled a new project to transform an old desalinisation plant into the centrepiece of a new cultural district on the waterfront. 

The first-ever Islamic Arts Biennale took place in Jeddah this year, directed by architect Sumayya Vally and situated at the infamous Western Hajj Terminal at King Abdulaziz Airport, designed by SOM. About 900km inland in Riyadh, the Saudi Arabian government has revealed the design for the Mukaab, a cube-shaped supertall skyscraper that will become the centre of the New Murabba district in downtown Riyadh. 

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The tower features a sleek, glass-clad exterior with a sloped facade, drawing inspiration from the folded fronts of desert palm trees. Courtesy of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. 

After a five-year hiatus, the Jeddah Tower is slated to start construction again, reaching for a height of 3 281 feet, or 1 000m.  

 Full acknowledgement and thanks go to…  https://www.archdaily.com/ for the information in this editorial. 

 

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