Construction on Kingdom Tower set to resume
Eying One Kilometer
22. September 2023
Visualization: © Jeddah Economic Company/Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Construction of Kingdom Tower, designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is set to resume, as reports indicate contractors have been invited to bid for completing the 1,000-meter-tall tower.
News first broke last week at MEED, which indicated through a source that Jeddah Economic Company (JEC) has restarted work on what will be the world's tallest tower once complete, passing the Burj Khalifa by more than 172 meters. The fourteen invited contractors — a mix of local, Asian, and European companies — have until the end of the year to submit bids.
The article further states that JEC exercised its contractual right to search for a new contractor since the original contractor, Saudi Binladin Group (SBG), had five years to restart the project; construction of the tower has been stagnant since early 2018. Photographs like the one below show the completion of approximately 50 floors of the concrete structure, with a few floors at the base of the tower actually covered with its glass curtain wall.
Jeddah Tower under construction in May 2021 (Photo: Omarnizar05/Wikimedia Commons)
On a visit to AS+GG's Chicago office in 2014, World-Architects described the project as “AS+GG's most well known project,” one that was getting plenty of attention at the time, since it had started construction a year earlier and would have been completed in another five years time. Smith had previously designed Burj Khalifa while at SOM, incorporating a similar “three-petal” structural system for Kingdom Tower.
Kingdom Tower was designed to include a luxury hotel, office space, serviced apartments, condominiums and the world’s highest observatory (originally designed as a helipad) at a height of 502 meters (1,647 feet). The preliminary budget was $1.2-billion, though with the extensive delays, and increasing construction costs and high inflation globally, no doubt that number will increase considerably.
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