The Man Behind the Tallest Buildings in the World

June 23, 2016 2:30 pm
Rendering of Jeddah Tower (Smith Gill)

One could say it’s Adrian Smith’s job to have his head in the clouds. After designing Dubai’s Burj Khalifa—the world’s tallest building—Smith was tapped to one-up himself with Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower. The world’s next-tallest building, it reaches a full kilometer skyward. Here’s writer Tom Chiarella’s take from Chicago Magazine:

“The man leading the upward push is Adrian Smith, the legendary Chicago architect who designed the Burj Khalifa, completed in 2010. Now he has designed the next world’s tallest, the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia. When the exterior is completed in 2018, it will top out at more than a full kilometer (or 3,281 feet, for those who live in a country that thinks it’s too smart for the metric system). That’s an entirely different scale of endeavor, its height pushing just slightly short of three John Hancock Centers (if you lose the antennas) stacked one on top of the other. Smith is also working on another massive creation, the 2,087-foot Wuhan Greenland Center in China, which will rank fourth. That’s right, Adrian Smith will soon have to his name three of the four tallest occupiable buildings in the world.”

Dive deeper into the mind one of the world’s leading architects with Chiarella’s profile of Smith here.

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