Destined to be the world's largest skyscraper, the 3,280-foot-tall Kingdom Tower will be the centerpiece and first construction phase of the under-development Kingdom City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The building will be 568 feet taller than the world’s current tallest building, Dubai’s 2,722-foot-tall Burj Khalifa.
Inside Kingdom Tower, also known as Jeddah Tower, will house a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons-serviced apartments, office space, luxury condominiums, and what is expected to be the world’s highest observatory. The complex will have 59 elevators, which includes 54 single-deck and five double-deck elevators, and 12 escalators. At level 157, you'll find a sky terrace that's nearly 98 feet in diameter. (Though the outdoor amenity is intended for use only by the occupant of the penthouse floor. Alas.) Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture are the masterminds behind the $1.5 billion skyscraper; the firm also designed the master plan for 23-hectare Kingdom Tower Waterfront District that surrounds the tower. The outdoor space will include shopping malls and other amenities that give Kingdom City a neighborhood-y, pedestrian-friendly experience.
Upon its predicted completion in 2020, the skyscraper will be an architectural landmark and economic symbol for the region. It will also be culturally significant: The southeast part of Kingdom Tower is in a direct line with Kaaba in Mecca, Islam's holiest site.
"Its form is brilliantly sculpted, making it quite simply one of the most beautiful buildings in the world of any height.” said Talal Al Maiman, CEO of Kingdom Holding Company, in a prepared statement announcing the tower.
Check out the gallery above for renderings of Kingdom Tower and what it looks like today.