Living in a two kilometer high tower? Residents “feel completely alienated from the world” – Executive Digest

What would life be like in a house on the 320th floor, a kilometer high?

There is currently no one in the world in these conditions: the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the tallest building on the planet since 2014, is 828 meters, but only lives up to 584 meters on the 163rd floor. The following are the platforms occupied by the machines and the somewhat exaggerated antenna.

However, there are two projects in Saudi Arabia: the Jeddah Tower was planned in 2011 to reach a height of 1.6 kilometers (the symbolic mile of Frank Lloyd Wright's famous utopian skyscraper in the 1950s in the 1990s), but was 'shrunk' to a thousand meters under the guidance of geologists who studied the landscape. Work began in 2014 and was suspended at 390 meters in 2017 when its promoter, Prince Bin Talal, ran out of Saudi government support and debt – however, construction gained new momentum in 2023.

But at the height of this 'competition', came the most extravagant news from Riyadh: the Public Investment Fund, headed by Prince Mohammed bin Salman, which invests oil profits, hired Norman Foster's studio to design the 2km tower. North of Riyadh: The project already has a budget of 4.62 billion euros.

The Spanish newspaper 'El Mundo' recalled that the Burj Khalifa has entire floors of offices and apartments that were never inhabited, but this does not seem to be the most relevant fact. Viewpoints for tourists and restaurants serve their function and earn money, while the name of the building is known around the world. Not at the level of the Eiffel Tower, but more than any other 21st century building.

See also  From America to Ukraine, Gaza war will change the world - Executive Digest

But what is the need of this breed? “My intuition is that, first, there is a social status in living physically and metaphorically above others. Second, those lifestyles that promise a form of well-being, an escape from the congestion, pollution and crime often associated with the streets. And thirdly, this sense of looking at the world from above”, highlighted Andrew Harris, Professor of Urban Studies and Geography at University College London.

“It's a curious situation: today many super-rich people seem to want to live at the top of the city, even if it means a lot of extra expense. But we shouldn't consider this desire entirely new. New heights and shapes are certainly a feature of 21st-century skyscrapers, but there are important precedents. 20 Until the turn of the century, the best place to live was the ground, not the top.Technology has changed everything.

But the two-kilometer tower has led to geopolitical analyses: if Saudi Arabia and its neighbors face a future in which hydrocarbons are no longer boundless wealth, its elites' idea is to turn their cities into enclaves of free life. Billionaires on the planet.

Consider what life would be like in a building with these characteristics. What to do with a two kilometer tall building? “What is expected is that the first third of the building will be for offices and commercial use, the second third for residences and hotels, and the third will not have many other uses except for viewing points and some technical services,” explained Eduardo Prieto. Architect and professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid.

See also  "Police Brutality" and "Global Exploitation". Amnesty International is concerned about the treatment of migrants in Portugal

The ground floors of the building, without very deep openings and internal courtyards, can only be used for offices or shopping centers. As the building gets taller and narrower, offices disappear and houses appear, because there is no need for that much office space in Saudi Arabia, and there never will be. In fact, around the world, office towers are already being emptied and recycled into residential buildings. In recent years, large tech companies prefer to build their headquarters in horizontal and discreet buildings.

The Burj Khalifa has 900 apartments between the 19th and 77th floors, described in some reports as “well-designed but a bit cavernous”. But the plan in Riyadh defies logic: vertical movements, leaving the house, going to the street and back home, even in fast elevators, can take 30 minutes, even with multiple transfers. It is this time that creates the 'need': anyone who lives in a two-kilometer tower wants to live outside the world.

For example, on the 320th floor, the windows cannot be opened to avoid the constant pressure changes that break the pressure, as in airplanes. “The alienation from the world will be complete. I'm not even sure the views are worth it. You can see the city 200 meters above sea level, but a kilometer and a half you can only see fog and clouds, you can't see the people on the street,” said Eduardo Prieto.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *