adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: jeddah tower in saudi arabia
adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: jeddah tower in saudi arabia adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: jeddah tower in saudi arabia
aug 03, 2011

adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: jeddah tower in saudi arabia

chicago-based practice adrian smith + gordon gill architecture has recently unveiled plans to construct the ‘kingdom tower’ in jeddah, saudi arabia.
projected to become the world’s next tallest building, it will be the primary component within the kingdom city development intended to revive the city’s urban core. the slender form is conceptually derived from the fronds of a native flower emerging from the arid desert sand. the mixed use program will accommodate a four seasons hotel, apartments, office space, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observatory overlooking the adjacent red sea.

adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: jeddah tower in saudi arabia
all images © adrian smith + gordon gill architecture



the asymmetrical vertical arrangement is formed from three converging ‘petals’ which reduce wind forces generated from the building’s extreme height. horizontal notches in the facade provide shadows to protect the open air terraces from strong direct sunlight. serviced by 59 elevators and 12 escalators, it is confirmed that it will be over 1,000 meters tall, only revealing the ultimate elevation to the public upon final completion. the projected realization will be five years from ground breaking with an overall cost of $20 billion USD, with approximately $1.2 billion USD assigned solely for the tower.

adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: jeddah tower in saudi arabia
view of the kingdom city complex from the top of the tower



architect adrian smith has stated in reference to the design: ‘with its slender, subtly asymmetrical massing, the tower evokes a bundle of leaves shooting up from the ground – a burst of new life that heralds more growth all around it.’

adrian smith gordon gill kingdom tower designboom
(left) the entrance to the enormous tower
(right) an aerial view of the structure’s waterside location

adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: jeddah tower in saudi arabia
world’s tallest observation deck

adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: jeddah tower in saudi arabia
observation deck from below

adrian smith gordon gill kingdom tower designboom
a view of ‘kingdom tower’ from across the water

adrian smith + gordon gill architecture: jeddah tower in saudi arabia
the spire of the tower peaks through the clouds



project info:


name: kingdom tower
location: jeddah, saudi arabia
client: jeddah economic company
cost: $1.2 billion USD
function: mixed use
height: 1,000+m / 3,280+ft
area: 530,000 sqm /  5,704,872 sqf

  • The Shard on speed..?

    iag says:
  • why?

    artur says:
  • Pierce the sky, so beautiful..

    [url=] Satriyo Niti Atmojo [/url]

    Satriyo says:
  • Cool… but it is too much I guess… and then, on top of it, what kind of panorama could you see??? The desert???….

    Dario says:
  • wonder if they’ll have the same problems as in Dubai where they had (maybe still are?) wait(ing) for the infrastructure to catch up (ie: water, power, sewar, etc.)

    dbkii says:
  • wasn’t Babylon in the mideast?

    meagain says:
  • At least it’s that high that it’s possible to see Somalia from the highest floor being cought by poverty and starvation..
    I don’t see the value and the moral responsability of such an expensive prestige-thing. (although it’s absolutely stunning to watch)

    Mario de Vries says:
  • taking the high road M de V?

    meagain says:
  • Fascinating on two accounts: This level of architectural achievement (or really just plain height) and architectural critics’ apathy towards geopolitical issues and responsibilities from any other wealthy country except for the United States. If this client was an American Oil company this blog would melt down from the outrage. Yeah, just sayin

    mstndvn says:
  • Awesome, i wonder w[url=]i[/url]ll they ever build it

    Boom says:
  • Enough of building ‘service’ structures. For the same amount of money they could explore new industries to produce something of value for the rest of the world. Design, build and export exceptional ‘green’ products to support our future endeavors in agriculture and transportation. Change our world for a bright future.

    Jack McAdam says:
  • Excellent! Can’t wait to see it in reality!
    But wont it be cold and difficult to breath that high up?

    Lamar The Human says:
  • the burj khalifa has the same flower concept for its design. how original!

    rodrigo says:
  • 🙂

    gabri says:
  • Hmmm… Tower of Babel?

    Passing Through says:

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