INDUSTRY INSIDER | April 23, 2024

Plans For 2 km Tower – Double the Current World’s Tallest

Original Source: Architects Journal

Foster + Partners is working on the multibillion-dollar project to build the world’s tallest building – a 2km-high skyscraper in Riyadh twice the height of the current record holder.

The scheme, reportedly backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), would be more than double the height of SOM’s 828m-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, completed in 2010.

According to sources, it is understood SOM and a host of other international design names had also been in the running for the mega-tall project which will sit on a site close to King Khalid International Airport, north of the Saudi capital.

Fosters is also overseeing a massive expansion of the airport – renamed the King Salman International Airport – after winning a separate contest for that 57km2 development in late 2022. The practice is now working on at least three airports in Saudi Arabia.

The proposed record-breaking Riyadh skyscraper would be more than four times higher than Fosters’ current tallest scheme: the 423m-tall JPMorgan Chase World Headquarters at 270 Park Avenue, New York, which is nearing completion.

The Saudi capital’s current tallest structure is the 10-year-old PIF Tower in the city’s King Abdullah Financial District. This stands at 385m and was designed by HOK and local architecture and engineering company Omrania.

The city will also soon become home to the Mukaab tower – a 400m-tall cube-shaped skyscraper designed by Atkins and billed as the largest ‘inner-city building in the world’. The 2 million m2 block is planned to tower over north-west Riyadh and house offices, homes and entertainment spaces.

The Riyadh schemes are the latest in a series of enormous giga-developments on the drawing board or under construction across the kingdom, many of them involving UK practices.

As reported last year, NEOM is already working with British architects, including Peter Cook, Zaha Hadid Architects and, until last summer, David Adjaye. The highly contentious $500 billion smart city development includes flagship project The Line – a proposed 170km-long, 500m-tall linear city.

Elsewhere Zaha Hadid Architects is leading on Discovery Tower, a supertall crystalline skyscraper for the Trojena ski resort for NEOM.