It’s Official: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Design Latest World’s Tallest Building, Kingdom Tower

Almost immediately after the buzz had finally settled down about the opening of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the “world’s tallest building,” talk started up about the next “world’s tallest building,” the Kingdom Tower in Saudi Arabia. Though there was apparently a competition to design the new super-skyscraper, it’s long been assumed that it would be designed by Adrian Smith, who had created the Burj (and who complained a bit that the firm he worked for while that record-setting building, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, was trying to take too much credit for his work). And so has happened, with official announcements by both the architect and the developer, that the Kingdom Tower is moving forward like we’re still in 2005 and projects like these are booming. Smith and his business partner Gordon Gill will oversee their design for the 1000 meter building (a full 568 feet taller than the Burj) and construction will begin “imminently,” with an estimated $1.2 billion price tag to build the structure and another $20 billion to create a whole Kingdom City surrounding it. The whole thing is certainly impressive, but given how many hurdles the Burj went through to finally open (and stay open after that, not to mention reports of its vast swaths of unused space), it’s the sort of thing we’ll see happen when we see it happen. And six months after that, we’ll report on the new “world’s tallest building” being constructed. Here’s a bit from the developer’s press release about some of the specifics of the project:

Five contractors were invited to offer proposals for the Kingdom Tower and a short list of three firms submitted final offers for the tower construction. The Saudi Bin Laden Group (SBG) whose offer was the most attractive in terms of price, quality and schedule was chosen for the project.

With a total construction area of over 500,000 square meters, the soaring Kingdom Tower will be a mixed-use building featuring a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, first class office space, luxury condominiums and an observatory that will be higher than the world’s current highest observation deck.