A tower designed by Chicago architects Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill will be the world’s tallest building if completed, according to plans unveiled today, reports the Chicago Tribune
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture reports that the Kingdom Tower will be built in Jeddah, a Saudi Arabian port city on the coast of the Red Sea. The building will measure over 3, 280 feet tall, beating out the world’s current tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, by at least 568 feet.
The Burj Khalifa, which opened in 2010, was designed by Smith when he was with the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.
Construction of Kingdom Tower is set to begin “imminently” and is expected to last about five years, according to Smith + Gill. A luxury hotel, apartments, condos, office space, and the world’s highest observatory will all be housed in the Tower, which will cost about $1.2 billion to construct. Kingdom Tower is just one part of a $20 billion development project in Jeddah called Kingdom City.
The plans for the Tower were revealed today by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company and a nephew of Saudi King Abdullah. The project is just one recent example of Chicago-based architecture firms taking on high-profile overseas work as the American commercial real estate market struggles to recover from the building bust of the 1990s and the recent recession.
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