World’s Tallest Building Designed by Chicago Real Estate Firm

August 02, 2011

The Willis Tower, the tallest piece of Chicago real estate and the tallest building on the continent, stands at 442 meters high.

A new tower is going to be built on the other side of the world that will triple that height, and a Chicago-based architectural group is designing it.

The Kingdom Tower

The Kingdom Tower will definitely tower.

The firm of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture is currently designing the Kingdom Tower, a proposed building by the Red Sea in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, that will reach towards the sky at more than 1,000 meters high.

The world’s current tallest building, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, sits at 828 meters. Adrian Smith designed that building as well when he worked for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

The new tower will be at least 173 meters, or 568 feet, taller than Dubai’s building, though the actual height is being kept a secret.

Kingdom Tower is being built to address a need for housing in the world’s largest oil exporter and will include apartments and luxury condominiums.

Banque Saudi Fransi, a private bank and stock company, has said that about 1.65 million new homes will be needed by 2015 to keep up with the area’s rapidly growing population.

The tower will also include a hotel, office space and the world’s highest observatory.

Gill and Smith

Gordon Gill (left) and Adrian Smith are designing the world's tallest building.

“Our vision for Kingdom Tower is one that represents the new spirit of Saudi Arabia,”  said Smith, who also designed the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Chicago.

“This tower symbolizes the Kingdom as an important global business and cultural leader, and demonstrates the strength and creative vision of its people. It represents new growth and high-performance technology fused into one powerful iconic form. ”

The new building will have a total construction area of 530,000 square meters or 5.7 million square feet. It will be the centerpiece and first construction phase of the Kingdom City development on a 5.3 million-square-meter site in north Jeddah.

Kingdom Tower will cost approximately $1.2 billion and take about five years to construct. The Kingdom City community will come in around $20 billion and should be completed in about 10 years. Construction is about to begin.

The project is the brainchild of Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, the nephew of Saudi King Abdullah.

“With its slender, subtly asymmetrical massing,” said Smith, “the tower evokes a bundle of leaves shooting up from the ground -– a burst of new life that heralds more growth all around it.”

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Thank you all for your time and great explanations.

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