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Burj Khalifa’s days as world’s tallest building are being numbered as the Jeddah Tower coming up in port city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia will overtake the Dubai skyscraper in 2020 when the construction will be completed. Though, the exact height of the Jeddah Tower is not yet made public, it will be the first building in the world whose height will exceed a kilometer. Unconfirmed reports estimate the height of world’s to be tallest skyscraper at 3,280 feet as against the height of Burj Khalifa of 2,717 feet.
However, there is one commonality between Burj Khalifa and the Jeddah Tower – both are designed by architect Adrian Smith of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS + GG), the same architect who designed the Burj Khalifa while he was working for Skidmore, Owings & Merill. The development of the tower is being managed by Emaar Properties PJSC. Thornton Tomasetti is the structural engineering firm.
It is the centerpiece and the first phase of an US$20 billion proposed development known as Jeddah Economic City that will be located along the Red Sea on the north side of Jeddah. Initially planned to be 1.6 km (1 mile) high, the geology of the area proved unsuitable for a tower of that height. So, the height was brought down to around one kilometer.
The triangular footprint and sloped exterior of Jeddah Tower is designed to reduce wind loads; its high surface area also makes it ideal for residential use. The overall design of the tower is intended to look like a desert plant shooting upwards as a symbol of Saudi Arabia’s growth and future, as well as to add prominence to Jeddah’s status as the gateway into the holy city of Mecca. The building will have a total of 59 elevators, five of which will be double-deck elevators, as well as 12 escalators. It will also have the highest observation deck in the world, to which high speed elevators will travel at up to 10 metres (33 feet) per second (slightly over 35 km/h (22 mph)) in both directions. Jeddah Tower will be oriented such that no façade directly faces the sun; it will also use the condensate water from the air conditioning system for irrigation and other purposes throughout the building.