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KFAS New Headquarters in Kuwait

Discipline : architecture / master plan
Program : office / congress hall / concert hall
Location : Salmiya, Kuwait
Period : 2018
Site Area : 600,000 ㎡
Total Floor Area : 64,615 ㎡
Credit : IAA
The programmatic arrangements of the KFAS Headquarters and the Conference Center, covering similar volumes of 12,500㎥ are given two distinct formal identities, the former of a cube and the later of a low-rise cuboid. These two volumes are located apart from each other on remote sites which are tied together by a subdued elongated hill proposed by the Architects. The 450m separation between the two sites is connected by the proposed elongated green hill accentuated by gentle undulations. While approaching the Hamad Al-Mubarak St. from the southwest side (from the Arabian Gulf Road) by car, one initially sees the tranquil scenery of the green hill that screens the chaos of busy coastline and creates a sense of unification. The hill encourages the visitor's gaze to move towards the horizon. On either side of the hill, are enshrined the two aforementioned buildings, their monolithic masses cut through by metaphoric cones of vision. Even if one is unable to have a direct visual connection with the surrounding Bay, the sight of the clear blue sky through the opening of the cones inspires a sense of maritime splendor. The Architects feel this composition to be an appropriate homage to the spirit of Ras Al-Ard (Head of Earth).

The ridge of the hill acts as a landscaped green promenade giving the users an opportunity to take in the sights of the Bay, enjoy the sea breeze and commute between the two buildings. The ground floor of the hill acts as an exhibition area with a semi-alfresco spatial character.

Cone = Line of Sight (Cone of Vision)
The building monoliths are shaped by a pair of cones signifying the lines of sight towards the Bay. These geometrical volumes are omnipresent in nature and reference the science of creating intricate structures from elemental forms.

The Headquarter and the Conference Center, both have facades of a double skin system using the same material. The double skin system reduces ultraviolet rays, ocean draft, general environmental weathering on the main building and extends the longevity of the building. In addition, the double skin system acts as an efficient climate control mechanism, allowing cross ventilation and safeguarding from extreme external heat simultaneously, effective natural light diffusion, and reduces the overall air-conditioning consumption.