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Saudis to build mile-high skyscraper, the "Kingom Tower"

A plan to build the tallest building on earth — the $30 billion Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, western Saudi Arabia that will stand one mile high — has been approved.

Saudi arabia tower 2011 4 15Enlarge
French climber Alain Robert scales the 828 meter World's tallest tower Burj Khalifa in Dubai on March 28, 2011. French "Spiderman" Robert is world famous for illegally climbing tall buildings across the world. (Marwan Naamani/AFP/Getty Images)

A plan to build the tallest building on earth — the $30 billion Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, western Saudi Arabia that will stand one mile high — has reportedly been approved.

It will take a 12-minute elevator ride to get to the top of the building in Obhur, about 20 miles north of Jeddah City on the Red Sea's eastern coast.

The 5,280-foot-tall Kingdom Tower will exceed Dubai's 3,281-foot-tall Nakheel Harbor and Tower, the construction of which was reportedly put on hold.

The Kingdom Tower, designed by American Adrian Smith, will be nearly double the height of the existing tallest building on the planet, the 2,717-foot-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai, also designed by Smith.

The project stipulates the construction of an 8.9 square mile city around the Kingdom Tower that can accommodate 80,000 residents and about one million visitors, according to RIA Novosti.

“These buildings are a symbol of an old-fashioned way of thinking.”
~Rory Olcayto, The Architects' Journal

Members of the Saudi royal family unveiled the proposals this week, showing that the megastructure will include hotels, offices apartments and a shopping centre. Its floor area will be 38 million square feet.

Rory Olcayto, deputy editor of Britain's The Architects’ Journal, criticized the project.

“The race to build the highest skyscraper is quite futile — where do you stop?" he said, according to the Mirror. “These buildings are a symbol of an old-fashioned way of thinking.”

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/saudi-arabia/110415/saudis-build-mile-high-skyscraper-spiderman-alain-robert%20