The past prosperity of Kuwait – symbolized by the pearl diving dhows which sailed the Arabian Gulf – and its prospects for a bright future based on finances and investment come together in a design by KEO which is set to become a “beacon for the city”.
The practice is working on a new headquarters for the Kuwait Investment Authority in the country’s capital city, the design for which is inspired by four elements based on traditional Islamic design – the courtyard, sustainability, the mashrabiya and traditional geometric shapes.
Design director Raj Patel said: “The building is really in two parts. The large horizontal podium containing a VIP reception hall, conference centre, dining hall, and public spaces are in the shape of a dhow – the vessel which bought riches to the country through fishing and pearl diving.
“Also included is the vertical modern tower piercing the skyline, which contains the private offices for the employees. It represents the future wealth of the country and its increasing global presence.
“Both forms are majestic and a powerful symbol of the past and future which remind the occupants and visitors that both can be celebrated in one project.”
The 220m tall tower is lifted six floors off ground level so the podium building slips through it. The tower consists of 40 floors which are stacked in five office courtyard atriums of eight floors each. Each of these eight storey courtyard atriums has a two storey atrium extending to the east, a four storey atrium extending to the north, and a two story atrium extending to the west. A central 16m x 16m open void on each floor is what links the eight floors together.
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