World's tallest tower project wins approval
Jeddah, February 21, 2012
The final licence to construct the world’s tallest tower with a height of over 1,000 metres at total cost of SR4.6 billion ($1.2 billion) in Jeddah, has been issued, the Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) has announced.
Kingdom Tower will be the centerpiece and the first construction phase of Kingdom City, Jeddah Economic Company’s (JEC) new urban development of more than 5.3 million sq m of land in the north of Jeddah overlooking the Red Sea and Obhur Creek, said a statement from Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, chairman of KHC.
The partners of JEC are KHC, Samaual Bakhsh, Abraar, International Holding Company, prominent Jeddah businessmen Abdulrahman Hassan Sharbatly and Saudi Bin Laden Group (SBG).
Prince Alwaleed said: “This project will provide sustainable profits to shareholders.”
“The vision of constructing the tallest tower in the world in Jeddah belongs to HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, who was closely involved in the selection of the scheme currently under design,” said Eng Talal Al Maiman, executive director, development and domestic investments, a board member of KHC and a board member of Jeddah Economic Company, which was formed in 2009 to develop the Kingdom City in Jeddah.
Five contractors were invited to offer proposals for the Kingdom Tower and a short list of three firms submitted final offers for the tower construction. The Saudi Bin Laden Group (SBG) whose offer was the most attractive in terms of price, quality and schedule was chosen for the project.
An interdisciplinary team led by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG), based in Chicago, created the design of the Kingdom Tower. The team also included building services engineering consultants, environmental systems design and structural engineering consultants, Thornton Tomasetti, engineer of three of the world’s top 10 tallest buildings.
Jeddah Economic Company selected the AS+GG scheme after a lengthy competition process in which SOM, Pickard Chilton, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Pelli Clarke Pelli and Foster + Partners also participated.
“Prince Alwaleed, Mr Bakhsh, Mr Sharbatly and I were impressed by the boldness and simplicity of the AS+GG design. Kingdom Tower’s height is remarkable, obviously, but the building’s iconic status will not depend solely on that aspect. Its form is brilliantly sculpted, making it quite simply the most beautiful building in the world of any height,” Al Maiman added.
“The decision of the partners to build the world’s tallest building further demonstrates their belief in investing in this nation.”
With a total construction area of over 500,000 sq m, the soaring Kingdom Tower will be a mixed-use building featuring a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, first class office space, luxury condominiums and an observatory that will be higher than the world’s current highest observation deck. The overall estimated cost of the entire Kingdom City project is anticipated to be SR75 billion ($20 billion).
“We intend Kingdom Tower to become both an economic engine and a proud symbol of the Kingdom’s economic and cultural stature in the world community,” said Al Maiman. “Kingdom Tower will be a landmark structure that will greatly increase the value of the hundreds of other properties around it in Kingdom City and indeed throughout North Jeddah.
“We are confident that upon completion, Kingdom Tower will become one of the world’s great tourist destinations as well as one of the most attractive places to live and work in the region,” Sharbatly and Bakhsh said in a joint statement. “In the meantime, it will create thousands of jobs, spurring the local economy.”
In addition to its status as an architectural landmark and economic symbol, Kingdom Tower will enjoy great cultural significance. “We envision Kingdom Tower as a new iconic marker of Jeddah’s historic importance as the traditional gateway to the holy city of Makkah,” Al Maiman said.
He noted that the southeast leg of Kingdom Tower’s tripedal base is on a direct line with the Ka’ba in Makkah. – TradeArabia News Service
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