The CN Tower, its status as the world's tallest building already on borrowed time, now faces a truly humbling future in which a Kuwait skyscraper will rise to nearly twice the height of Canada's No. 1 architectural landmark.
The British publication Architects' Journal has revealed plans by the Kuwaiti government to construct a 250-storey, 1,001-metre-tall building at the centre of a new city in the Middle East kingdom.
The kilometre-high structure would anchor the planned community of Madinat al Hareer, a proposed 700,000-resident "City of Silk" that Kuwait is reportedly developing as an economic and tourist hub in the tiny desert nation best known as the victim of the 1990 Iraqi invasion that sparked the Persian Gulf War.
No drawings of the proposed mega-development have been released.
But, the plan was disclosed by American-born architect Eric Kuhne, who said his London-based firm is working with Kuwaiti officials to blueprint the record-smashing structure.
The controversial Kuhne, whose Bluewater shopping centre east of London is Europe's largest retail complex, described Kuwait's proposed super-highrise and surrounding city as "the manifestation of 2,000 years of Arabic heritage."
The 553-metre-tall Toronto tower, which celebrates its 30th anniversary next year, is facing an imminent end to its reign as the world's greatest vertical megaproject.
Not far from Kuwait on the Arabian Peninsula, the Burj Dubai is under construction in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates. It is expected to reach 705 metres by the time it's finished in 2008.
A 558-metre building in Jakarta, Indonesia, is also scheduled for completion in 2009.
Taiwan's Taipei 101 skyscraper, at 508 metres, is currently the world's tallest office tower.
The CN Tower, officially opened to the public on June 26, 1976, is widely described as the world's tallest free-standing structure.
But all of the planet's existing buildings would be dwarfed by the planned Kuwaiti building. Kuhne said the new city and its central skyscraper would cost more than $150 million Cdn and take 25 years to build.
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