Restricted Competition: 2018
Area: 12,566 m2
Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Maider Llaguno-Munitxa, Ivaylo Nachev, Carlos Orihuela, Stella Salta.
Our proposal for the New KFAS Headquarters in Kuwait is aimed to provide KFAS with two buildings and their associated public space to construct a new international image of the institution while delivering a flexible infrastructure. The project aims to be able to meet the future needs of KFAS as the institution evolves through time. We have tried to consider efficiency and expression as two inseparable sides of the project.
The two buildings constitute the future infrastructures of the KFAS in the Salmiya District of Kuwait City and have been designed to capture both an expression of science, technology, and innovation -which constitutes the essence of KFAS- while referring to the landscape of Kuwait: Kuwait’s natural milieu is characterized by two landscapes: The Sea and the Desert. Our aim is to make a building to capture the constantly changing qualities of the ocean and the desert and to register it on the building’s surfaces. The saltation and migration patterns of dunes in the desert, and the flickering reflection on the sun on the surface of the ocean are the references to our project.
A mesh of hinged flags, constantly moved by the wind on the Kuwait coast will be the device which will reproduce these turbulent patterns on the building’s envelope, as the crucial trait of expression. The flags will also shade the building’s facades, blocking the sun in 60% of the building’s surface. A kinetic façade built with golden stainless-steel tiles that capture the changing nature and shape of dune and wave patterns.
Contrasting with the aleatory nature of the enveloping surfaces, the two volumes that will contain the future programs of KFAS in the Salmiya District are proposed as very simple, compact, and minimal containers. Their design is driven by a rigorous, efficient order which will optimize their performance, both programmatically and environmentally.
The two buildings, with different heights and sizes relate to each other not only by their exterior appearance but also by a public promenade that connects them both. The low rise one will host the conference centre, leaving the box alike one hosting the office program.