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Plans for new world's tallest building revealed (images)

The Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia is expected to reach more than 1,000 meters into the sky and tower over the current world's tallest building.
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1 of 12 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Architect Adrian Smith, who directed the building of the current world's tallest building Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, is with a new firm, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, and has a new project - build the world's tallest building. The Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, near the Red Sea, is expected to reach a height of over 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) - 173 meters (568 feet) taller than Burj Khalifa - when it is completed in late 2016. The announcement was made by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, nephew of Saudia Arabian King Abdullah and the chairman of the Kingdom Holding Company, who said the construction will begin soon.

 

The building is expected to cost $1.2 billion and will contain a luxury hotel, office space, serviced apartments, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observatory.

Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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Currently, the world's tallest building is the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It officially opened in 2010 and reaches a height of 828 meters or 2,717 feet. The architect was Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago, with Adrian Smith as chief architect.

Credit: fotopedia.com

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The Web site of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture says the building "was inspired by the folded fronds of young desert plant growth." It says "The three-petal footprint is ideal forresidential units, and the tapering wings produce an aerodynamic shape that helps reduce structural loading due to wind vortex shedding."

Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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Each of the three sides contain notches that will provide shadows to help residents cool off and enjoy the views of Jeddah and  the Red Sea. Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture says "the project will feature a high-performance exterior wall system that will minimize energy consumption by reducing thermal loads."

Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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One of the most spectacular features will be the Sky Terrace which will be on Floor 157. It will be about 30 meters (98 feet) in diameter and is intended for use by the penthouse floor.

Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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Nice view from the Sky Tower.

Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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How do you get to the top? There will 59 elevators - 54 single deck and 5 double decks - that can travel at 10 meters per second in both directions. 

Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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The area around the Kingdom Tower is known as the Kingdom Tower Waterfront District. The area will include a a high-end shopping mall, residential and commercial space, offices, two luxury hotels, a central Tower Plaza, and a waterfront promenade which connect the whole area.

Buildings immediately surrounding the Kingdom Tower are planned to be from 20 to 60 stories with the smaller ones closer to not ruin the view from the more distant buildings.

Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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Gordon Gill (left) and Adrian Smith of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture of Chicago will supervise construction of the giant building.

Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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10 of 12 Andy Smith/ZDNet

The entire Kingdom City Project is expected to cost $20 billion.

Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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Walks along the waterfront promenade should be very appealing.

Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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You won't see too many clunkers parked here.

Credit: Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

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