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Video: Kingdom Tower architect talks

Architect Adrian Smith reveals more details about Jeddah's supertall

RELATED ARTICLES: Engineer: Kingdom Tower is practical challengeExperts: tapered form of Kingdom Tower is ideal City of the hyper tall

Architect Adrian Smith has revealed more details about the Kingdom Tower project in Jeddah during an interview on US television.

The architect said his firm, Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill, was selected to design the tower having survived a  two year process pitched by Kingdom Hioldings founder HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Eight firms were whittled down to two, including AS&GG - and their former firm Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM).

The tower, Smith said, would be at least 3280ft (1000m) tall, and 50 storeys taller than the Burj Khalifa (164 floors). The building will have three sky lobbies, with the most prominent situated at the 157th floor. The viewing platform disc that juts out from the side of the building was originally designed as a helipad and is 25 metres across.

Smith said the main lessons learned from designing the Burj Khalifa that transferred over to the Kingdom tower design were the three legs around the core design; the nature of a stepped and sloping or tapered tower design, and the advancement of that design.

"When the wind moves around a building, it creates vortices. One of the ways to mitigate that is to step the tower, or slope it. Sloping is more effective but it is a little more expensive."

The aspect ratio - the footprint to height ratio - of the two buildings is about the same, Smith said.

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Construction Week - Issue 725
Jan 19, 2019