Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
 

Council Visit Reveals Insights on “World’s Next Tallest” Construction Progress
May 14, 2017
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CTBUH Executive Director Dr. Antony Wood travels down the side of the under-construction Jeddah Tower via a materials container hoisted by a crane.

JEDDAH – CTBUH Executive Director Dr. Antony Wood was recently invited to visit the construction site of Jeddah Tower, poised to become the world’s tallest tower and the first 1,000-plus-meter structure ever built. Building developer Jeddah Economic Company (JEC) kindly sponsored the trip and hosted Dr. Wood, while Saudi Binladin Group, the main contractor, facilitated the tour.

Dr. Wood was given exclusive access to the site, and was able to detail the extent of ongoing construction. At the time of his visit, the tower was built to level 56, rising 252 meters from ground-level. Amazingly, that is only a quarter of its full height; however, due to its location outside the city center, it already looms above everything else on the horizon.

Drone image showing the current construction status (252 meters) of the world's next tallest building – Jeddah Tower.
Saudi Binladin Group’s Senior Project Director, Nabil Batrawi, and Projects Coordinator, Hani Kabrit, were on-site to welcome Dr. Wood and lead him though the building along with other colleagues from Saudi Binladin Group. The visit encompassed a full tour of the tower, which was brimming with activity as ongoing construction continues. 

Notably, Dr. Wood was given access to the top of the current tower core, level 56 at the time, which is some 10 floors above the floor construction below. From there, the tower’s Y-shaped wings were plainly visible. Additionally, from that vantage point, the full expanse of the greater Jeddah Economic City was in view. At the moment, it remains undeveloped, with construction beginning in later phases. However, its immense scale was on full display.

Jeddah Tower is being built as the anchor for Jeddah Economic City, which will encompass 5.3 million square meters of land north of historic Jeddah. The first phase of development comprises 1.55 million square meters that will be built following the completion of the tower.

Dr. Wood poses alongside Saudi Binladin Group’s Senior Project Director Nabil Batrawi, Projects Coordinator Hani Kabrit, and other colleagues on the current top of the core (level 56) at the under-construction Jeddah Tower.
From the top of the core, the tower’s Y-shaped wings were plainly visible approximately 10 floors below.

With the journey to the top of the tower complete and the tour coming to a close, Saudi Binladin Group saved the best for last. Rather than return to the ground-floor on the construction elevators, which were busy facilitating construction, Dr. Wood, Batrawi, Kabrit, and their companions all took a hair-raising journey down the outside of the tower, lowered via crane (see video clip above).

The group traveled in a materials hoist attached at a single point to the tower crane. With a grated floor and exposed walls, the hoist provided spectacular views as it was raised above the top floor of the tower and subsequently lowered to ground-level in just a few minutes.

The group's trip to the bottom of the tower via crane provided views of the building's exteiror at height.

Ultimately, the trip to the top and back of the world’s future tallest tower provided a number of insights on its ongoing construction. The project is now humming along, having reached level 56 of its planned 167 floors and a height of 252 meters, roughly a quarter of its 1,000-plus-meter total. Additionally, although it rises out of the desert now, it is not hard to imagine the fully realized city that will accompany its completion.

In addition, while in Jeddah, Dr. Wood met with the CEO of JEC, CTBUH Trustee Mounib Hammoud, at JEC's headquarters, where, among other things, they discussed the possibility of a 2018 CTBUH conference in the Middle East taking place in Dubai and Jeddah. Hammoud expressed support for the event, which would be the Council's first conference in the region since the 8th World Congress held in Dubai in 2008. See more information on Dr. Wood's wider Middle East visit and conference fact-finding tour here.

While in Jeddah, Antony met with CTBUH Trustee Mounib Hammoud, CEO, Jeddah Economic Company (JEC), in his office.