Kingdom Tower work gathers pace

December 2014

The Kingdom Tower in Jeddah has now started its vertical ascent towards its goal of being the world’s tallest tower. In doing so, it will also garner a range of records both in its construction and its composition.

CONSTRUCTION work on the world’s tallest tower located in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is gathering pace and is expected to reach the sixth floor by the end of this month, according to its developer.

The 170-storey Kingdom Tower– which is expected to soar to a height of more than 1,000 m – is owned and being developed by Jeddah Economic Company (JEC). It is being built by Saudi Binladin Group over an area of 85,000 sq m as part of Kingdom City.

The Kingdom Tower ... artist’s renditions.

The Kingdom Tower ... artist’s renditions.

The first phase of Kingdom City, which is currently under development, covers 1.5 million sq m and will comprise 5.3 million sq m of modern multi-purpose buildings including the tower, a mall, a large mosque for 12,000 worshippers, and other residential and commercial buildings. The tower will be the nucleus of a new commercial centre to the north of Jeddah.

As the world’s tallest tower, the SR4.6-billion ($1.22 billion) Kingdom Tower is naturally expected to clock up a range of superlatives associated with it: for instance, some of the world’s tallest cranes will be used in its construction while the world’s fastest elevators will transport residents and visitors up to its dizzying heights.

Kone, a global leader in elevators and escalators, will deliver the world’s fastest and highest double-decker elevators to the skyscraper. Featuring Kone’s People Flow solutions, the building will have double-deck elevators with a travel speed of 12 m per second as well as the world’s highest elevator rise at 660 m.

The project is also expected to feature the highest and longest above-ground lift shaft in the world, according to Henrik Ehrnrooth, the president and CEO of Kone Corporation.

The tower will be equipped with a total of 65 Kone elevators and escalators including 21 Kone MonoSpace elevators, 29 Kone MiniSpace elevators, seven Kone DoubleDeck MiniSpace elevators and eight Kone TravelMaster 110 escalators.

The Kone DoubleDeck MiniSpace elevators will utilise what is described as “revolutionary” Kone UltraRope hoisting technology.

The record-breaking tower forms part of the Kingdom City complex.

The record-breaking tower forms part of the Kingdom City complex.

“This new high-rise elevator technology is set to break industry limits and enable future elevator travel heights of 1 km – twice the distance currently feasible. Kone UltraRope technology eliminates the disadvantages of conventional steel rope and opens up a world of possibilities in high-rise building design,” says a spokesman for Kone.

Mounib Hammoud, CEO of JEC, says: “The Kingdom Tower will have high-speed elevators and the world’s fastest double-decker elevators that travel at 12 m per second. The elevators are designed to produce energy while moving, which contributes to energy conservation and environment protection. In addition, the tower is equipped with other services that will make it an international landmark and a global icon of Saudi Arabia’s progress, success and achievements.”

The world’s tallest and biggest custom-made crane will be used to construct the massive structure. JEC has acquired six cranes from German companies Liebherr and WolffKran, which are built to withstand harsh conditions, especially the wind loads that they will be subjected to. The ‘climbing’ cranes, which arrived earlier this year, are designed to accompany the Kingdom Tower’s growth both externally and internally – in the latter case utilising any of the building’s 65 interior elevator shafts to make the climb.

Kone DoubleDeck MiniSpace ... uses “revolutionary” hoisting technology.

Kone DoubleDeck MiniSpace ... uses “revolutionary” hoisting technology.

The biggest crane is a custom Liebherr type 357 HC-L. It will be able to lift 18 tonnes of materials at a speed of 44 m a minute, says a spokesman for JEC.

The Kingdom Tower is the centrepiece and first construction phase of the Kingdom City development, located along the Red Sea on the north side of Jeddah. The tower is designed by architect Adrian Smith and Gordon Gill Architecture. Dar Al Handasah is the project’s construction supervisor, while the EC Harris-Mace JV is managing the project.

The Kingdom Tower features 170 storeys – seven of which will be allocated for the five-star Four Seasons hotel offering 200 rooms, eleven storeys for 121 luxury serviced apartments, and seven storeys for offices.

The tower will also have 61 storeys that include 318 housing units of various types, along with amenities that include gyms, spas, cafes and restaurants, two sky lobbies and world’s highest observation decks, located at a height of 644 m, enabling visitors to view the city of Jeddah and the Red Sea from high in the sky.

A further double-height eight full refuge floors that are fire resistant will be allocated throughout the tower.

The skyscraper will feature a sky terrace – roughly 30 m in diameter – at level 157, which will be an outdoor amenity space intended for use by the penthouse floor.

The project aims to provide a unique business, residential and entertainment environment that provides top services for the new generation of Saudi citizens, and to be a must-visit business, entertainment, cultural, medical and educational landmark for visitors to Jeddah, as well as playing an important role in creating job opportunities for Saudi youth and contributing to fulfilling the increasing demand for residential units.

More Stories