AS+GG named as architect for 1 km Kingdom Tower

By Chris Sleight04 August 2011

AS+GG's design for the 1 km high Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia. The project is expected to cost US$

AS+GG's design for the 1 km high Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia. The project is expected to cost US$ 1.2 billion to construct. Image © Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture.

Chicago, US-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG) has been awarded the contract to design the 1 km+ tall Kingdom Tower near Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. When complete it will surpass Dubai's 823 m Burj Khalifa as the world's tallest building.

The tower will have a total floor area of 530000 m2 and will be the centrepiece of the first is phase of the 5.3 km2 Kingdom City development north of Jeddah. The tower is expected to cost US$ 1.2 billion to construct and the entire Kingdom City project is put at US$ 20 billion.

According to AS+GG, the foundations for the tower have already been designed and the contract for piling work is currently being tendered. The main contractor for the tower has already been named as Saudi Binladin Group SBG.

The project is the brainchild of His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and chairman and majority owner of investment company Kingdom Holding Company,

As+GG said the three-petal footprint is ideal for residential units, while the tapering wings will produce an aerodynamic shape that will help reduce wind loading. It described the tower as, "An elegant, cost-efficient and highly constructible design."

The height of Kingdom Tower will necessitate one of the world's most sophisticated elevator systems. The Kingdom Tower complex will contain 59 elevators, including 54 single-deck and five double-deck elevators, along with 12 escalators. Elevators serving the observatory will travel at a rate of 10 meters per second in both directions.

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