STANDING six times taller than The Shard and twice as tall as Mount Snowdon, Saudi Arabia could build a “Megascraper” that would be one the largest manmade structures of all time.
Plans are being drawn up for a 2,000 metre tall tower that would be the centrepiece of a massive redevelopment in Saudi capital of Riyadh.
The structure would cost an estimated £4billion to build and have opened up the floor to designers to create the megastructure in a £840,000 design competition.
It would be more than double the height of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, reports MEED.
And the megascraper would utterly dwarf the tallest buildings in America and Britain.
Towering almost quadruple the height of the One World Trade Centre, the structure would also be 20 times the height of Big Ben.
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat defines a “supertall” building as over 300 metres, while one over 600 metres is considered “megatall”.
While there are 173 supertalls, there are currently only 4 megatalls in the world.
And these are Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, Merdeka 118 in Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai Tower in Shanghai, and the Makkah Royal Clock Tower in Mecca.
Eight firms have been invited to participate in the design competition which is being run by the Public Investment Fund (PIF).
PIF is responsible for major Saudi projects and is chaired by Saudi’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
It has been behind some of the mega projects such as city of the future, Neom, and the vertical “landscraper”, The Line.
And the sovereign wealth fund also led the consortium that purchased Premier League side Newcastle United.
The PIF is believed to have assets of nearly £500BILLION.
Competitors seeking to win the megascraper project include eight well known designers.
It is hoped the structure will one day be located just west of King Khalid International Airport.
And it will be the centrepiece of a massive redevelopment of the northern outskirts of Riyadh.
The airport is hoped to become the largest in the world as it is renamed King Salman International Airport.
It is hoped it will cover an area of 57 square kilometres with six parallel runways.
Saudi is currently engaging on a huge series of megaprojects and investments known as “Vision 2030”.
It is a plan to diversify Saudi’s oil-dependent economy – turning it into a global powerhouse.
1Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is the driving force in Saudi ArabiaCredit: GettyMBS has been seen by some as a modernising figure – with measures such as lifting a ban on women driving and curbing the powers of the religious police.
But the reforms have been accompanied by a crackdown on critics of his rule, including female activists.
And he was implicated the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Vision 2030’s centrepiece is the megacity Neom.
The city will be located on the border with Jordan and Egypt and will start welcoming residents and businesses by 2025.
It is being “built from scratch”, powered by solar and wind and will be 17 times the size of London.
MBS said the urban area will be “be drone-friendly and a centre for the development of robotics.”
Planning documents show the city will have flying taxis – a vehicle depicted in science fiction films such as Blade Runner and Back to the Future II.
The plans say that “driving is just for fun, no longer for transportation.”
The kingdom also wants to create a giant artificial moon which will light up each night and serve as a major landmark.
MBS recently declared that he wanted the sand on the city’s proposed Silver Beach to “glow” in the dark.
However, two sources close to the project told the Wall Street Journal that engineers have not figured out a way to do that safely yet.
Saudi announced the construction of Neom at the 2017 Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.
Story Credit: thesun.co.uk