Five of the best: Adrian Smith towers

Top designs by the former SOM skyscraper supremo, now at AS + GG

Wuhan Greenland Center, Wuhan, China
Wuhan Greenland Center, Wuhan, China
1 Dubai, Jumeirah Gardens, Dubai
1 Dubai, Jumeirah Gardens, Dubai
Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai
Jin Mao Tower, Shanghai
Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa
Kingdom Tower
Kingdom Tower

Construction Week takes a look at five of the best towers designed by Chicago based architect  Adrian Smith. Smith is best known for his work in the Burj Khalifa.

5) 1 Dubai
Location: Dubai
Height: 600m +
Status: Cancelled

In 2008, Smith's firm AS + GG won a competition to design several towers in the audacious Jumeirah Garden City project in Dubai by Meraas Development, which was subsequently cancelled due to the financial crisis. Standing at over 600 metres, the triple-towered 1 Dubai was connected by a series of glass sky bridges. It also featured a grand arched entrance that allowed boats to travel underneath the building and into a central atrium space. The mixed-use tower scheme would have included a hotel, residential, commercial, retail and entertainment space, totalling over 800,000m2.

4) Wuhan Greenland Centre
Location: Wuhan, China
Height: 606 metres
Status: Proposed

Standing at 119 floors and 606 metres, this mixed-use tower will be constructed in Wuhan, central China. It is planned to house offices, condominiums, a hotel and a private club, and is expected to be completed in five years. Construction is due to start this year. Smith said: “One of the distinctive features of this project is the innovative introduction of vents at the tips of the three legs of the tower at vertical quarter sections that will reduce wind pressure on the tower and reduce the vortices that can cause horizontal acceleration of movement. This feature, along with the elegant tapering of the tower, is an essential element in this performative design concept.”


3) Jin Mao Tower
Location: Shanghai, China
Height: 421 metres
Status: Complete

Completed in 1998, this distinctive tower rises 88 storeys and 421 metres. Its postmodern form draws on Chinese traditions such as the tiered pagoda which gradually steps back. As well as containing offices it also houses the Shanghai Grand Hyatt hotel. Like many buildings in China and the Far East, the design revolves around the number eight, which is associated with prosperity. Accordingly, the tower is built around an octagon-shaped concrete shear wall core surrounded by eight exterior composite super columns and eight exterior steel columns.


2) Burj Khalifa
Location: Dubai
Height: 828 metres
Status: Complete

Currently the world's tallest building at 828 metres, the jaw-dropping Burj Khalifa has become the icon of Dubai. Developed by real estate giant Emaar, Burj Khalifa is the centrepiece of the US$20bn Downtown Dubai development. The soaring tower accounts for US$1.5bn, and contains apartments, offices and an Armani hotel. Composed of three elements arranged around a central core, the building steps back in an upward spiral pattern. To support the unprecedented height of the building, engineer Bill Baker developed a new structural system called the buttressed core, which consists of a hexagonal core reinforced by three buttresses that form the distinctive ‘Y' shape.


1) Kingdom Tower
Location: Jeddah
Height: 1,000 metres +
Status: Approved

Set to smash all of the Burj Khalifa's records, the 1km-high Kingdom Tower will take the tapered icicle form to giddying levels. With a height of over 1,000 metres and a total construction area of 530,000m2, Kingdom Tower will be the centerpiece and first construction phase of the Kingdom City development on a 5.3 million m2 site in north Jeddah, overlooking the Red Sea. Kingdom Tower will feature a Four Seasons hotel, Four Seasons serviced apartments, Class A office space, luxury condominiums and the world’s highest observatory. The tower will cost approximately US$1.2bn to construct, while the cost of the entire Kingdom City project is anticipated to be US$20bn.
 

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