Saudi tower enters race for world's tallest building


Move over, Dubai. If Saudi Arabia's newest construction project goes as planned, the Burj Khalifa could be dethroned as the world's tallest tower.

The planned tower has had delays since it was first proposed in 2011, but now construction for the skyscraper dubbed Kingdom Tower is reportedly set to begin next week along the Red Sea. (ViaVisualhouse)

According to the Saudi Gazette, the building, which is designed by the same architects who designed the Burj Khalifa, is designed to have 200 floors, standing at more than than 3,200 feet — passing the Burj by more than 560 feet.

But the exact size of the building is not yet set in the stone. According to Arabian Business, the developer has not yet decided on the final height — only that it will definitely surpass the Burj Khalifa.

The tower's construction will likely not be a smooth process. Aside from its location near salt water, which could damage the building, erecting such a tall structure is no easy feat.

According to Businessweek, there is only so much change in height a person's inner ear can tolerate, and the weight of elevator cables might become a problem considering the Burj is already "near the maximum height a single elevator can travel without being insupportable."

And then of course, there's the threat of wind. CNN reports to counter this, the building will change shape every few floors — making the wind load less harsh than it would be if it were a solid structure.

If successful, the complex will house a mix of residential and commercial units, as well as the world's tallest terrace. (Via Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture)

It's estimated the $1.2 billion project will be completed sometime in 2018.



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