Tall, Taller and MONUMENTAL!

Babylon inspired tower
Architectural rendering of the yet to-be-named Babylon-inspired tower in Dubai

August 2016  ~  In 2008, the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, was asked why he insisted that his emirate’s construction projects be the world’s biggest, tallest, most extravagant, and off-the-chart architectural and engineering marvels on the planet. His answer: “Why settle for less when you can be #1?” Astute point. Dubai’s unique projects are an economic engine and a proud symbol of the emirate’s economic and cultural stature in the world community. His philosophy works.

However, prior to the 2009 completion date of Dubai’s Burj Al Khalifa, currently the tallest building in the world, plans for taller buildings were underway. If and when one of these plans is realized, the Burj Al  Khalifa will be demoted to almost-as-tall.

One of the proposed projects is another monolith in Dubai. Emaar, coincidentally Dubai’s developer of the Burj Al Khalifa, announced in April that it will soon break ground on a Babylon-inspired skyscraper that is engineered to be a “notch” taller than the current record holder. Its design is an architectural wonder as unique as Dubai’s 7-star Burj hotel with its immense sail. Completion of the skyscraper is planned to coincide with Dubai Expo 2020.

Jiddah Tower - Saudi Arabia
Jiddah Tower – Saudi Arabia

But get this! Jiddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, is already up to the 42nd floor as of June 2016 and scheduled for completion in 2020. Formerly named Kingdom Tower and Mile-High Tower, Jiddah Tower is located at the Red Sea port of Jeddah, gateway to the holy city of Mecca. The MONUMENTAL skyscraper will soon shred the record book by adding another 21% to the height of Dubai’s current record holder!  1,000 m/3,280 ft. compared to 828 m/2,717 ft.

Designed by Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Hill Architects, the $2 bil project’s main contractor is Saudi’s Binladen Group. Adrian Smith has designed 4 of the world’s 11 tallest buildings, including the Burj Al Khalifa.

Conversation points:
There will be 252 floors.
One floor is completed every 6-8 days, and currently being ramped up to one every 5 days.
The quantity of concrete to be incorporated in the tower could build 6 Hoover dams.
The amount of steel could build 8 Eiffel Towers.

But wait! It gets crazier. Sky Mile Tower in Tokyo is possibly next in line for tallest building in the world. It has been designed to reach 1,600 m/1 mile – twice (!!!) the height of the Burj Al Khalifa, and be completed in 2045. Granted, that is 29 years from today; new engineering and construction technology will have evolved; economic and political hiccups will more than likely muddy the waters; and plans can be modified or shelved. With the world’s population living in cities forecast to double by 2050, Sky Mile Tower is designed with foresight to house 55,000 people.

Imagine standing on one of the top floors during an earthquake. Whooooa …..


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