When completed in 2018, the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia will be the world’s tallest building. That title is currently held by Burj Khalifa, Dubai at 827 meters (2,716 feet), but Jeddah Tower (previously called the Kingdom Tower) will surpass it reaching at least 1 kilometer (3,280 feet)into the sky. This week, the Saudi government announced that $2.2 billion in funding had been secured to build Jeddah City, including the sky-piercing tower. The project is currently built up to the 26th floor.
The tower will be a mixed-use building with 170 floors and feature a seven-storey Four Seasons hotel with 200 rooms; seven storeys of office space; 121 serviced apartments; 318 different types of housing units; and the world’s highest observatory at 660 m above ground. It will also overlook the Red Sea, which posed engineering challenges due to the nearby saltwater and high wind levels. That explains its deep, 200-foot foundations, and its angular, wind-shielding shape.
Servicing the 170 storeys, however, requires a sophisticated elevator system. A total of 59 elevators, five double-deck elevators, and 12 escalators will help visitors move about the monster building. Elevators that shuttle visitors to the observatory will travel at a rate of 10 meters per second.
And the sky terrace, which will open on the 157th floor, will open out into the clouds from the penthouse floor.