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IPFS News Link • Architecture

Work restarts on audacious kilometer-tall skyscraper

•, By Adam Williams

Now, it has reportedly restarted its hugely ambitious plan to build the new world's tallest building, the Jeddah Tower.

Since it was completed back in 2010, Dubai's Burj Khalifa has reigned supreme as the world's tallest manmade structure at 828 m (2,717 ft). Though we don't actually know the final height of the Jeddah Tower, we do know that it will surpass this milestone significantly, soaring to at least 1,007 m (3,303 ft) over the Red Sea port city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

To put this into perspective, the megatall skyscraper will be over three times the height of the Eiffel Tower and more than twice as tall as the Empire State Building. Designed by AS+GG's Adrian Smith, who's also behind the Burj Khalifa, it will be defined by a relatively simple tapering triangular form inspired by the folded leaves of a desert plant that's meant to ensure it will withstand the punishing wind loads experienced at such heights. Anchoring all this is a massive concrete foundation system supported by 270 bored piles that reach depths of up to 105 m (344 ft).

Its interior will measure 5.7 million sq ft (530,000 sq m) and 59 high-speed elevators are to be installed to help everyone get around, five of which will be double-decker. It will also boast the world's highest observatory, as well as a hotel, office space, and luxury apartments.

Though construction began a decade ago, work has remained stalled at around 60 floors for several years now, with multiple reports naming purges by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the resulting palace intrigue as the cause for the delay.

According to the Middle East Business Intelligence however, the project is now back on track, with a collection of different companies invited to bid on the contract to finish it, including big names like Skanska and Samsung's construction and engineering firm. The original budget for the project was around US$1.2 billion, though this has potentially risen over the years. It will also serve as a centerpiece of a larger surrounding mixed-use district.

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