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Kingdom-Tower 1

I waited until April 2 because this is no joke.
Behold the proposed new Kingdom Tower for Jeddah, Saudi Arabia — at one full kilometer in height, about twice the size of New York’s new Freedom Tower. The  Kingdom Tower comprises 252 floors of mixed market apartments, hotel rooms, and offices. It is an axiom that imperial societies build their greatest monuments just before they collapse, so consider this a portent for the oil empire of Saudi Arabia. There will always be an Arabia — well something will occupy that desolate region — but it may not be the private domain of the Saud clan much longer, especially as war breaks out across the Middle East and Persia.


This will give you some idea of the scale. A year ago I went on on a junket to Dubai (a panel to discuss the development of a proposed a new urban quarter). The opening night cocktail party was held at the top of the Burj Khalifa. I took a cab to the base of the damn thing, looked up at the top, and almost blew chunks. Well, I guess some people enjoy being trapped 2500 feet up in the air. Considering the hostilities currently ramping up in that part of the world, I have just one design suggestion to make (below) that might make explicit the true destiny of the Kingdom Tower. After all, that is a technique pioneered by Saudis.


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About James Howard Kunstler

View all posts by James Howard Kunstler
James Howard Kunstler is the author of many books including (non-fiction) The Geography of Nowhere, The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition, Home from Nowhere, The Long Emergency and the four-book series of World Made By Hand novels, set in a post economic crash American future. His most recent book is Living in the Long Emergency; Global Crisis, the Failure of the Futurists, and the Early Adapters Who Are Showing Us the Way Forward. Jim lives on a homestead in Washington County, New. York, where he tends his garden and communes with his chickens.

15 Responses to “April 2015”

  1. Leftbanker April 2, 2015 at 3:57 pm #

    The elevator ride would be like an Orange county commute.

  2. malthuss April 3, 2015 at 10:23 am #

    Do not go w-o a parachute.

  3. Being There April 4, 2015 at 9:36 am #

    Interesting when only they know how much oil they’ve got left.

    Maybe they think they’ll eat Iran for breakfast.

    Well stand on line, cuz China’s got her sights on Iran too! hmmm nothing like fresh sweet crude in the morning….

  4. Being There April 4, 2015 at 9:37 am #

    Oh, I forgot. Step ladder to the moon…..

  5. AKlein April 6, 2015 at 8:11 am #

    Brilliant. Just imagine the energy consumption of this thing! Water to flush the toilets must be pumped up. Freight and people must be raised and lowered by motors. HVAC for all that – no open windows. This isn’t a just a swan song for Saudi, it’s a swan song for the whole megalomaniacal mentality of the 21st century. Who in his right mind would want to give up the tranquility of the desert for this??? Imagine living or working in it. It’s a vertical tomb.

  6. Dangeresque April 6, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

    So are you saying they should build a Target superstore on the top floor? 😉

  7. PeteAtomic April 25, 2015 at 10:53 pm #

    This thing reminds me of a few sci-fi movies where people get shuttled to the top and suddenly it takes off and flies into outer space.

    Maybe Dick Cheney & Co. will oversee the next round of wars in the Middle East that way 🙂

  8. Toby Bo May 21, 2015 at 2:06 pm #

    Architects cold read clients and reflect back with design instead of tarot cards.The Supreme Court is the same they make settled opinion into settled law.When settled opinion changes the Supreme Court overturns settled law.Frank Gehry uses cold reading reflection and lampoons it by actually making the structure reflective.The Kingdom Tower is modern because it is shaped like a sword ready to hurt.

    In the past futurism was glass domes and space rings that were utopian.No more pothead circle pass the dope around the left hand side.A slim pyramid has no need for a wide population base and a wide middle class under the tip at the top.The Shard in London is less severe but has the same strategy to price the plebs off the planet.A huge expensive structure has a huge ownership price that is greenfield gentrification.

    Supercars are the same with huge horsepower and huge rear diffusers.Supercar hyperinflation prices the plebs off the planet.Ferrari World theme park is in Dubai where a supercar is like a wristwatch.Ferrari World is under a dome because a huge expensive structure shows the right to rule like Cathedrals.The perfume commercial by the swimming pool directed by Ridley Scott made a case for royal houses.


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