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Dubai’s Creek Tower: The World's Tallest Structure?

Vocativ | 1:33

Dubai’s Creek Tower: The World's Tallest Structure?

Peter Smisek

12 October 2017

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CONSTRUCTION workers in Dubai are currently working on "Dubai Creek Tower" (shown in this video), a structure that could be the tallest in the world when it completes in 2020.

Designed by architect Santiago Calatrava and engineered by South African and Australian consultancy Aurecon, the tower is being built in advance of the 2020 Expo in Dubai.

Above: Dubai Creek Tower will stand at the centre of a new 2.3 square mile development by Emaar Properties who also developed the Burj Khalifa ( image courtesy of Santiago Calatrava - Architects and Engineers).

Announced in 2016, the USD $1BN Dubai Creek Tower, will be the centrepiece of Dubai Creek Harbour - a 2.3 square mile city extension developed by Emaar Properties.

The slender tower will be topped with no fewer than 10 observation decks that are intended to “recreate the splendor of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon”, according to the architect.

Above: The viewing platforms at the top of Dubai Creek Tower will contain gardens, nodding to the Hanging Gardens of Babylon ( image courtesy of Santiago Calatrava - Architects and Engineers).

So far, there has been no official announcement regarding the height of the structure. However, it has been confirmed that the tower will be at least 3,045 feet tall; 328 feet taller than the current record holder, the Burj Khalifa.

Some estimates in local media have put the new tower as high as 4,413 feet.

There is, however, another contender for the title of the tallest structure in the world: the "Jeddah Tower" currently under construction in Saudi Arabia.

Initially planned to be a mile high, the tower was scaled down when a geology survey revealed that the site was unsuitable to support a building of that size.

Above: A computer generated image of Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, expected to be the first skyscraper over 1 kilometre (3,281 feet) tall (image courtesy of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture).

The scaled down needle-shaped skyscraper - the centrepiece of the USD $20BN Kingdom City development - is still likely to be exceed 3,281 feet (1 kilometre), although its precise height is shrouded in secrecy.

The building's architect is Adrian Smith of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, who also designed the Burj Khalifa. Although the project was initially scheduled to complete in 2016, foundation works, together with the economic downturn have pushed that date back to 2020.

Above: Jeddah Tower’s cantilevered viewing platform is planned to be 2,000 feet above the surrounding city (image courtesy of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture).

Unlike the Dubai Creek Tower, the Jeddah Tower will be a truly multifunctional and fully occupied building, containing apartments, office space and a luxury hotel, as well as a large, cantilevered observatory, at around 2,000 feet.

No official floor count has been given, though conservative estimates suggest 167 habitable floors, meaning that as much as a third of the tower’s overall height would be the decorative spire.

Although Dubai Creek Tower could yet turn out to be taller than the Saudi Arabian structure, it is not self-supporting, and designs indicate that it will rely at least partially on guy cables to provide stability.

Above: Dubai Creek Tower is set to complete in 2020 (image courtesy of Santiago Calatrava - Architects and Engineers).

Even if Dubai Creek Tower rises higher than the Jeddah Tower, it would only be the world’s tallest structure, with Jeddah becoming the world’s tallest building. We’ll have to wait until 2020 to find out for sure. 

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