Jeddah Tower, the biggest skyscraper
Discover all about the world’s tallest tower.
The Jeddah Tower
The Jeddah tower, previously known as the kingdom tower is a skyscraper nearing its completion in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Upon its completion, Jeddah Tower will be the tallest building in the world with a height of over 1 kilometer and a total construction area of 530,000 squares meters. The tower will have a commercial and residential place occupying 57 million feet featuring homes, hotels and offices.
Adrian smith proposed the current design of the building in 2010 and its construction was expected to commence in 2012 but the geological structure of the surrounding area posed a challenge to its construction and construction commenced four years later.
Construction was to be in three phases; first is the construction of the Jeddah Tower, the second phase looking into infrastructure and the third phase is yet to be revealed.
Despite being located in a desert, the tower will be the centerpiece of the Jeddah economic city, a government approved project in Jeddah to be a host of residential and commercial buildings which will be established in the region.
The whole Jeddah economic city project is designed by a kingdom holding company owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal that was specifically started for the tower and the city.
The current record of the tallest building in the world is in Saudi Arabia. The Burj Khalifa situated in Dubai is the tallest building with a height of 828 meters from the ground. Its name “Burj Khalifa” is Arabic in origin, and is interpreted to means the Khalifa tower in English. However, the Jeddah Tower will eclipse it once it is completed in 2020. With its more than 1000 meters height, Jeddah Tower will be 200 meters taller than the Burj Khalifa.
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The idea of the construction of the tower started in 2008. At this time, it was still in its planning stage and the ideal height for the building was not open. One thing was however clear, that it would surpass Burj Khalifa in height.
In 2009, there were reports that the construction of the building was put on hold due to the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. However, king Holdings Company was swift enough to reject and declare the news null. Adrian Smith, an American architecture who also designed the Burj Khalifa, developed the architectural design currently used in the building. Apart from these two, Adrian Smith has been involved in other skyscrapers around the world. Among them are Trump international Hotel & tower, Jin Mao tower, Zifeng Tower and Pearl River tower, all being counted among the tallest buildings in the world.
Due to various issues however, the construction did not start immediately or sooner as it had been expected. It took three years and in April 2013, the project commenced and is expected to be completed in 2020 which is nearly seven years after its construction started thus differing form the initially estimated 5 years.
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Initially, after a series of investigations of the soil in the region it was said that the construction of the tower was ready and would start in 2012 and by 2011, the common phrase was that construction would start no more than December. However, the construction started in 2013 seeing the construction of the foundation that covered 7,500 meters squared and was deeper than that of the Burj Khalifa.
The construction process of the Jeddah tower has not gone without its fair share of challenges. As of 2013, the construction of the building had steady progress up to 2018
Jeddah city is located in the north of Saudi Arabia and has for a long time been the gateway to the two holy cities of Makkah and Madinah. For the past few decades, the city has experienced tremendous growth but there have been developmental challenges that have resulted in fragmented development in the region.
The city’s developmental challenges were greatly worsened by the storms of 2010 and the increasing demand for housing which raised the cost of housing. To address this issue, the Saudi government came up with a plan that would ensure all the social amenities were enough. Further, the government plans to channel funds in real housing to curb the issue. This plan aims at ensuring that residents have access to proper housing, reduced dependencies on cars and increased access to social amenities. Following this plan therefore, at the core of the city’s revitalization is the Jeddah Tower.
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Like other skyscrapers in the world, the Jeddah tower will also have an observatory deck expected to be higher than the highest observatory deck of the Burj Khalifa. Observatory decks are a common feature in tall structures in the world and they function as a sightseeing platform.
The observatory deck will hang at the height of over 2000 feet and is estimated to measure about 500 square feet. It will be made of steel and designed to provide a breath-taking view of the surroundings up to where the eye can see.
Jeddah tower will be the centerpiece of the Jeddah city economy. It will host a series of luxurious hotels inside it with the greatest occupant being the Four Seasons hotel that features Royal Suites, International Cuisine Restaurants and Executive Suites among other features to complement the residential apartments in servicing tourists in the region. In addition, the tower will provide other world-class facilities that will enable visitors to conduct any kind of business meetings and enjoy themselves. The tower is also equipped with over 50 elevators providing access to hotels and apartments in the various parts of the building.
The primary reason for the construction of the tower was to ensure that there is equitable access to social facilities in the region. That is why the tower will have residential places for people who want to reside in there. It’s claimed that the tower will have over 360 residential apartments and 121 serviced apartments. Jeddah economic company expects to sell as well as lease some of these residential units. Saudi Arabian residents are allowed to start purchasing the apartments while foreigners are allowed to purchase apartments if they get government approval.