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Adrian Smith Already Trying to Outdo His Burj Khalifa with a New World’s Tallest Building?


To stay on this Pritzker theme for a second longer, although Adrian Smith was our first pick to win this year’s prize, only to have it snapped up by our longshot selection, SANAA, Smith still wound up making some big news. The architect was the original designer of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, but his involvement was a bit shadowed (so much so that he began to complain publicly about it) given that he was working for Skidmore, Owings & Merill when he created it. But now Smith might have his revenge while also one-upping himself, as it’s been rumored/announced that Smith’s firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture has been chosen to design the next world’s tallest building, a kilometer-high skyscraper in Jeddah, a city in Saudi Arabia. The news was leaked to the Middle Eastern news site, MEED, and then picked up by Blair Kamin of the Tribune who puts the building in context and lends some additional details. Here’s a bit:

The planned Saudi tower would rise to a height of at least 3,281 feet and would house a mix of uses, previously identified as a hotel, offices and high-end residences. MEED’s report said the Saudi investment firm, Kingdom Holding Co., had asked contractors to submit revised prices for the tower now that the company has selected an architect.

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