The design of Kingdom Tower may have similarities with Burj Khalifa, but experts explain that the tapered form is an ideal aerodynamic solution for supertall towers.
Adrian Smith was a designer behind both the 828m-high Burj Khalifa in Dubai and the recently unveiled 1km-tall Kingdom Tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Both towers utilise a ‘three-petal’ footprint and a dramatic tapering form.
Speaking to Middle East Architect, Bart Leclercq, head of structures for WSP Middle East, commented: “The taper reduces the wind load at the top. Because it changes shape every few floors, the wind loads go round the building and won’t be as extreme as on a really solid block.
“There will just be local disturbances, so it’s a really good design from an aerodynamic perspective.”
Steve Kelshaw, managing director of Dubai-based DSA Architects International, added: “I don’t think you could do it any other way – if you built a square design up to that height, I don’t know how it would work.”
Leclercq added that a “playful” treatment of the facade will help to give Kingdom Tower a distinct identity.