Denial by Architecture: Mile-High Tower OK’d in Saudi Arabia
April 6, 2011
Government opens fire on civilians in Yemen. 12 killed in protests over Quran burning in Afghanistan. At least 173 dead in Syria in clashes against the government. While the Middle East is, almost categorically, being wracked by unrest and protests, the most powerful counter-revolutionary power is proceeding like it’s still 2003.
A tower twice the hight of the Burj Khalifa has been given the green light in Jeddah. UPDATE: Reps from Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture categorically deny the design featured above. Futhermore, “AS+GG is NOT involved in the design of a ‘mile-high’ building.” The plot thickens!
Here are the rumors: “Kingdom Tower” will be one mile high. It will contain almost 12 million cubic feet of space. It will be part of a larger urban development built to house about 80,000 people, at a cost of almost 30 billion dollars. Using your average elevator, it would take 12 minutes to reach the zenith.
The Saudis have tapped Emaar, the developer who controls most of the UAE’s construction industry, to handle the project. They’ve also selected an alumni of the Burj Khalifa project, ex-SOM staffer Adrien Smith (of Adrien Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture), to design the tower. UPDATE: “Please note that Kingdom Tower has NOT been announced, and all press accounts of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture’s involvement with the project are based on anonymous, unofficial sources. We do not confirm any of the reports.”
Is this one of those sad, cinematic moments in which someone who’s undergone a trauma tries to cling onto the remainder of what they once had in an attempt to fend off reality?