A 2 km high skyscraper project in Saudi Arabia


Recently, British architects unveiled an ambitious project: the construction of a two-kilometre-high skyscraper in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. This multi-billion dollar project therefore potentially aims to build the future tallest building in the world.

Much higher than the Burj Khalifa

First of all, let us remember that Saudi Arabia is a hard power giant, mainly because of its oil wealth. However, the country is now also establishing itself as a nation active in soft power through certain reforms concerning women’s rights, culture, tourism and even diplomacy. Let us also cite colossal investments for the development of certain sports such as football as well as the application of disproportionate architectural projects such as Neom.

The country regularly launches gargantuan new architectural projects. As explained by the media DeZeen and Architects’ Journal in articles published on March 4, 2024, Foster + Partners, one of the leading architectural firms in the United Kingdom, aims to build a two-kilometre-high tower in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

Remember that the tallest skyscraper in the world is the famous Burj Khalifa in Dubai (828 m), inaugurated in 2010. Thus, the building of the Foster + Partners agency will surpass the latter by a very long way. Supported by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), the project is expected to take place on a site near King Khaled International Airport, north of Riyadh.

Other projects in progress

Currently, the most imposing skyscraper in the city of Riyadh is none other than the PIF Tower. Inaugurated in 2014, this 385-meter tower is the heart of King Abdullah’s financial district. Still in Riyadh, it is possible to cite another major upcoming project: the Mukaab Tower. It is a cubic skyscraper measuring 400 m on a side with an area of two million m² whose shape refers to the Kaaba of Mecca.

King Abdullah Financial District

The King Abdullah financial district in Riyadh. Credits: Ahmed / Wikipedia
If the Foster + Partners project seems quite popular, it is currently quite difficult to believe in its success. About 1,000 km from Riyadh is the city of Jeddah, where another major project is underway: the Kingdom Tower, whose final height is expected to reach 1,001 meters. However, the construction started in 2014 has been stopped since 2019 although it could resume between the second half of 2024 and the beginning of 2025. For the moment, the construction of the Kingdom Tower is blocked at 66th floor (266 m). Only 26.4% of the height and 46.9% of the total volume have been achieved.

While waiting to look at its future project in Riyadh, Foster + Partners is focusing on the completion of another tower. This is the world headquarters of JPMorgan Chase, a 423 meter high skyscraper located at 270 Park Avenue, in New York (United States).

This article is originally published on sciencepost.fr


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