British design firm Foster + Partners is working on the multibillion-dollar project - reportedly backed by Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF (Public Investment Fund) - to build the world’s tallest building – a 2-km-high skyscraper in Riyadh, said a report.

The scheme is set to be twice the height of the current record holder, the 828-m-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai designed by US-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), reported The Architects’ Journal.

The proposed record-breaking Riyadh skyscraper, which will come up on a site close to King Khalid International Airport, north of the Saudi capital, would be more than four times higher than Foster + Partners’ current tallest scheme: the 423m-tall JPMorgan Chase World Headquarters at 270 Park Avenue, New York, which is nearing completion, it stated

Interestingly SOM and a host of other international design names such as Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture; Kohn Pedersen Fox; and Gensler had been in the race for the coveted project along with 10Design, a part of France’s Egis, and Dubai-based Killa Design, said the report citing sources.

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

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.

According to various media sources, the proposed skyscraper coming up in the heart of Riyadh, is set to be named The Rise. The project, whose design was unveiled in August last year, will be entirely powered by solar energy as well as renewable sources.

The dizzying tower, which will boast a record 678 floors, is to be developed by Saudi PIF as the centrepiece of its mammoth North Pole project, spanning an impressive 306 sq km area in the northern part of the capital city.

"This visionary project embraces the Rise Tower and seamlessly connects with the Cube Tower in the New Square project and neighboring neighbourhoods," said Mohammed AlQahtani, the CEO of Saudi Arabia Holding Company, which is reported to be developing the North Pole project.

"Excitingly, the North Pole project offers a diverse range of facilities, including residential neighborhoods, commercial areas, industrial zones, entertainment hubs, green spaces, sports centers, educational institutions, medical facilities, government centers, and cultural landmarks," he stated in his LinkedIn post.

"Envisioned as a global destination for living, working, and entertainment, the North Pole project seamlessly blends modernity with the beauty of nature, delivering a unique living experience," he added.

AlQahtani pointed out that at the heart of the North Pole project lies its meticulously crafted urban design, ensuring seamless connectivity among various facilities while prioritizing residents' ease of access to services.

A network of pedestrian-friendly streets, bike lanes, and efficient pathways promotes a sustainable and vibrant lifestyle. Serene parks and green spaces enrich the living environment, fostering a healthy and balanced lifestyle, it stated.

"The North Pole project demonstrates its commitment to environmental stewardship, harnessing solar energy and renewable sources to meet its energy demands. Water bodies integrated within the project not only cool the climate but also enhance air quality, underscoring its environmentally conscious approach," he added.-TradeArabia News Service

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