Master planners and urban architects announced for SR75 billion city development
A 5.3 million sq m area of land to the north of Jeddah is to be transformed into a buzzing new community. Kingdom City Jeddah in Saudi Arabia is being headed by Jeddah Economic Company (JEC) which is made up of Kingdom Holding Company, Abraar International Holding Company, Saudi Bin Laden Group and Jeddah businessman Abdulrahman Hassan Sharbatly.
It has now been revealed that the lead master planner on the Kingdom City Jeddah scheme is Calthorpe Associates and the urban architects will be Godwin Austen Johnson (GAJ). In August 2011, tall building specialists Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill were announced as leaders of an interdisciplinary team including Environmental Systems Design and Thornton Tomasetti which conceptualised the centrepiece for the Kingdom City Jeddah development, a 1,000m-high tower entitled Kingdom Tower.
Kingdom Tower will be the first construction phase of Kingdom City Jeddah and will cost an estimated SR4.6billion to realise. The complete Kingdom City Jeddah scheme - including the Kingdom Tower - will cost SR75billion (€15billion). With a total construction area of 530,000 sq m, the Kingdom Tower will rise 173m higher than the world’s current tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. It will include a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, luxury condominiums, office space and an observatory that is higher than the world’s current highest observation deck.
Eng. Talal Al Maiman. Executive Director, Development and Domestic Investments, Chairman and CEO of Kingdom Real Estate Development Company, a board member of Kingdom Holding Company and Jeddah Economic Company commented: “The careful strategic planning has paid off and the execution of the greatest building project in the world for the next years to come has started in the our beloved country Saudi Arabia. Our Country deserves no less than such a project.”
When we first revealed Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill’s concept design for the Kingdom Tower in August 2011 it was met with mixed responses from our international readers. Some expressed fears that a project of this size would lose momentum, others congratulated the architects for the ‘majestic’ nature of the design.
Anthonie van Vliet from Lelystad, Netherlands commented: “Jeddah Kingdom Tower is the beginning of a building revolution changing the course of mankind… The 21st century will see the ‘Umbruch’ towards vertical living, cities comprising of just a few colossal towers stretching high into the sky. This enables forests, lakes, nature to thrive around the super-towers.”