Jeddah Tower construction resumes, aiming to be the world’s tallest building
Construction on the Jeddah Tower, the world’s tallest building, has resumed in Saudi Arabia. The tower is designed to be over 1,000 meters (3200 feet) tall and span 1.5 square kilometers (1 square mile) in its first phase of growth.
The project is described as the “centerpiece” of the Jeddah Economic City (JEC) development, a project intended to revive Jeddah’s urban core. Chicago-based practice Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill (AS + GG) Architecture is the lead architect on the project.
ESD Puts AV in Jeddah Tower
Chicago-based Environmental Systems Design (ESD) won the bid for MEP and fire environmental design as well as the audiovisual and acoustics. ESD has been working on this project since 2011.
The mixed-use tower will accommodate a Four Seasons hotel, apartments, office space, luxury condominiums, and the world’s highest observatory overlooking the adjacent Red Sea. This means the AV technology involved will be mixed as well. With hotel spaces, the group will be deploying hospitality AV. Corporate AV technology will be utilized for office space and collaboration and UC will be present throughout.
Construction on the tower began in 2013 but was halted in 2018 due to financial difficulties. Jeddah Economic City has now issued a tender for contractors to bid on the contract to complete the tower. The deadline for bids is set for the end of this year.
The Jeddah Tower is expected to be a technological and audiovisual marvel, with one of the most sophisticated elevator systems in the world. Elevators will travel up to ten meters per second, and a sky terrace on level 157 will be open to the public and will be the world’s highest observatory.
The tower’s design is inspired by the fronds of a native flower emerging from the arid desert sand. Its three-petal footprint optimizes residential space, while its tapering wings create an aerodynamic shape that reduces wind loading.
Art, Architecture, and Technology
This monumental undertaking had initially seen the Saudi Binladin Group (SBG) and Germany’s Bauer join forces as the project’s principal contractors, focusing on the foundational and piling works during the early 2010s. However, a recent update reveals that SBG has stepped down from its role, leaving the esteemed AS + GG team at the architectural helm. Joining them is the Lebanese company Dar al-Handasah, contributing its engineering expertise to the project. Jeddah Economic City (JEC) has issued a tender, inviting contractors to bid for the opportunity to complete the towering marvel, with the bid deadline set for the end of this year. Remarkably, one-third of the building progress, consisting of foundational and piling works, is already complete. The precise completion date remains shrouded in secrecy.
The Jeddah Tower is expected to be a landmark building for Saudi Arabia and a symbol of the country’s growing economic and technological prowess. It is also a testament to the ambition and vision of the project’s developers.
[Images: Courtesy of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture]