Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower art
A sculpture of Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower Image Credit: Arwa Abdullah

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi: A talented Saudi sculptor has carved a replica miniature of the soon-to-be-tallest building in the world, Jeddah Tower, on a pencil in a beautiful and interesting sculture, using a small scalpel and a sewing needle.

"I have completed the construction of the Kingdom Tower on a pencil," said Sculptor Arwa Abdullah, in a sarcastic comment on her Twitter account, after completing the sculpture.

Abdullah is interested in filmmaking and photography.

The protracted construction of truly awe-inspiring once complete tower has been delayed yet again during 2020, thanks to the COVID–19 pandemic. It’s now seven years and counting since construction began on this landmark project, and it is not clear when the building may finally top out.

Once complete, the building will stand at least 3,280 feet tall, and was designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture of Chicago. It is part of the larger development, Jeddah Economic City, and will be the first structure in the world to reach the one-kilometer-high mark (the original design was to be one-mile-high (1.6 km), but the geology of the area was not suitable for that height).

The structure, formerly known as the Kingdom Tower, will be home to the world’s highest observatory. It will also have a separate, 98-foot-diameter outdoor balcony, which was originally intended to be a helipad.

Its shape is functional. The narrowing silhouette has to fight wind as well as gravity, so the three-sided shard is designed to be aerodynamic.

Its form is interesting for a tower of its size. The “three petal” plan allows separate extrusions to nudge against one another, while the profile is inspired by folded fronds of young desert plant growth.

Jeddah Tower will have 59 elevators and 12 escalators, and five of these elevators will be double decker.

It has high-tech features. A high-performance exterior wall system, including low-conductivity glass, will minimise energy consumption by reducing thermal loads.

There are super-cool patios all along its three sides. Each side features a series of shaded notches where outdoor terraces offer extreme views of Jeddah and the Red Sea. The massive structure will contain 80,000 tons of steel. Parts of the core will contain concrete that is several meters thick.