Two years ago, Khaldoun Fahoum, Ph.D., P.E. joined Langan International’s Abu Dhabi office to manage operations in the Middle East. At the time, the firm knew it was getting an excellent geotechnical engineer with experience working on some of the most amazing projects in the region. But what was not known then was the fact that Khaldoun had a great relationship with an architectural firm based squarely in the middle of America, Chicago to be exact, the headquarters of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (AS+GG).
And from that relationship, a tower is growing in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, namely Kingdom Tower, which at over 1,000 meters (about 3,300 feet) when completed will become the new tallest tower in the world.
AS+GG, Langan, and Thornton Tomasetti Structural Engineers (TT) have been working on the design of Kingdom Tower for more than a year, but the official public announcement about the project occurred last month. Fahoum and Alan Poeppel, a Langan Vice President based in New York City, have provided their technical expertise and managed the internal coordination of engineers from multiple disciplines located in firm offices from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to New York and San Francisco.
Langan’s role on Kingdom Tower – designing the foundation to overcome difficult subsurface conditions that consist of very weak rock and highly permeable coral rock, as well as performing numerous unique investigative techniques and a site-specific seismic hazard analysis. Furthermore, Langan is providing site/civil and traffic engineering, as well as parking planning services for the overall first phase of the Kingdom City development, which also includes a 97,000-square-meter retail mall, and underground garages for more than 4,700 cars.
“It is thrilling to be with Langan International and working in partnership with Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill again, especially on a landmark project like Kingdom Tower,” said Fahoum. “Langan’s reputation throughout the Middle East and beyond continues to grow because clients and design team partners like AS+GG and TT know we deliver innovative, yet cost-effective geotechnical solutions on challenging projects, which certainly includes the highest structure on earth.”