World's tallest building proposed for Saudi Arabia--but designed here

August 2, 2011

Renderings were released today for a 3280-foot skyscraper, called Kingdom Tower, planned for the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah near the Red Sea.

The skyscraper is designed by Chicago's Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture. Smith, before leaving SOM in 2006, designed the current world's tallest building--the mere 2700-foot Burj Kalifah, in Dubai. Kingdom Tower will feature a hotel, hotel apartments, luxury condos and observatory that would be the highest in the world. The $1.2 billion tower is part of a $20 billion development, according to Kingdom Holding Company, the developer of the project.

If it gets built, the tower is one of staggering proportions. How tall is a 3280 ft building? You could stack the Trump Tower on Willis Tower and still come up almost 400 ft short. It's taller than three of NYC's Chrysler Buildings put together. It is five Chicago blocks, end to end. Elevators in the Kingdom Tower are planned to travel 33 ft per second.