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Is Foster + Partners designing Riyadh’s 2-kilometer-high skyscraper?

The 2 kilometer structure is estimated to cost around $5 billion

Is Foster + Partners designing Riyadh’s 2-kilometer-high skyscraper?
[Source photo: Krishna Prasad/Fast Company Middle East]

A skyscraper in Riyadh might become the tallest building in the world, double the height of the Burj Khalifa, which currently holds the title.

The development, a 2-kilometer skyscraper backed by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, is reportedly designed by Foster + Partners. 

According to reports, Foster + Partners secured the coveted role following a design competition launched in late 2022. Renowned architecture firms, including Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Adrian Smith & Gordon Gill Architecture, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Gensler, 10Design (part of France’s Egis), and Dubai-based Killa Design, participated in the contest.

This ambitious project dwarfs Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building at 828 meters. Towering over its predecessor by more than double the height, the 2km tower is estimated to cost around $5 billion to construct, based on regional construction costs for similar projects.

The tower forms part of a larger vision, nestled within an 18-square-kilometer development north of Riyadh. PIF, known for its bold infrastructure projects, has previously explored the construction of a 1.2km tower at King Abdullah Financial District in 2019, although the plan ultimately did not materialize.

In Riyadh’s constantly evolving cityscape, the proposed 2-kilometer skyscraper would stand above everything else, forever altering the city’s profile.

Currently, the 385-meter PIF Tower is the city’s tallest structure, followed by notable landmarks like the Burj Rafal and the iconic 302-meter Kingdom Centre.

According to reports, the skyscraper will be located near King Khalid International Airport, further solidifying Foster + Partners’ presence in Saudi Arabia’s aviation sector. The firm is already engaged in three airport projects within the kingdom.

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