The Height of Absurdity

Posted: August 2, 2011 in Consumerism, Corporatism, Economics, Idle Nonsense, Skyscrapers

There is a new entry in in the world’s tallest building sweepstakes: a tower in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia financed (in part) by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal through his company Kingdom Holding. Announced in 2008, a contract has been inked and construction commencing soon is slated to take about 63 months, making completion sometime around December 2016.

The Kingdom Tower (a rather obvious name) will be around 1000 meters tall, exceeding the Burj Khalifa’s 828 meters (the current record holder by a large margin). According to this site (which appears not to be kept quite up to date), it was originally called the Mile-High Tower and was intended to be 5280 feet tall (1600 meters) but was scaled back due to questionable foundation support.

The Kingdom Tower has not yet made its way onto the SkyscraperPage. Last time I viewed that site, I remember it including projected towers, but go here instead for a good list. However, clicking around at the SkyscraperPage today, I noticed a 28-pp. index of destroyed buildings and structures of note stretching back 5000 years. Two especially curious recent entries are the Torre de la Escollera in Cartagena, Colombia, and the Desert Inn Palms Tower in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Torre de la Escollera was demolished in 2007 two years into construction because of wind damage to its columns. The Palms Tower (not really a supertall building or even a tower) was completed but stood only seven years before being demolished in 2004.

If Dubai has the reputation for the most batshit crazy construction projects, Las Vegas is probably infamous for demolishing perfectly usable buildings to make room for ever grander, more idiotic outlandish opulent designs. It was inevitable, I suppose, that some new testosterone-fueled fool who failed to get the memo about impending global financial collapse would raise the rooftop to absurd new heights.

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