Nichtoffener Wettbewerb | 12/2018

KFAS New Headquarters for Kuwait

1. Preis



Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH


Buro Happold



Stadtplanung / St├Ądtebau

Beurteilung durch das Preisgericht

Within the framework of the scheme's urban design quality, the jury particularly appreciates the nature of the Headquarters building as an inviting place allowing people to enter from the ground floor, where the park, continuous and different paths, water and shadows are playfully juxtaposed together. The jury welcomes the integrated approach towards public spaces around the existing buildings connecting the two projects. The presence of water and greenery is seen to generate a comfortable environment for daily users and visitors showing a clear and sensitive relationship between tradition and innovation. The entrance and the connected ground floor areas are praised for their unique spatial quality which gives character to the building.

However, the lack of a clear strategy for public transport is criticized, and the jury invites the designers to rethink the dialogue between the waterfront public space and the ferry activities. The jury finds the design idea of creating a building with inner courtyards, referencing KuwaitÔÇÖs traditional houses and public spaces, highly interesting. This solution generates privacy and also an enjoyable shading. These courtyards are seen to provide pleasant settings for office spaces that are not exposed to the sea-view. Furthermore, the compact nature of the building with a comparably small volume provides the basis for a sustainable and energy saving operation concept. In a further development, the jury recommends to examine whether the green inner courtyards could make an even greater contribution to improving the quality of workplaces.

Some of these inner courtyards could also become part of the interior of the building in order to efficiently enhance the office areas. In addition, these could also be used as vertical, inner access areas to connect office areas between different floors. In general, the floor and sectional organization of the headquarters building is praised as being rich and well defined. However, in the opinion of the jury, the inner courtyards divide the office spaces excessively and complicate the internal organization of the office areas. To improve this situation, the jury recommends reducing the number of courtyards and by using covered inner courtyards for circulation or changing the arrangement of courtyards and cores. The jury in further evaluating the view advises that the sanitary cores should be arranged in the north-eastern corner of the building so as not to block the view of the exterior space for the users.

The low-rise nature of the building also takes the human scale into account and makes it attractive for the employees to use the outdoor spaces and the services, e.g. for breaks and recreation, and even meetings. However, the interior of the building does not respond to the fa├žade, which has been changed after JuryÔÇÖs recommendations in Stage 1, and lacks character and originality. The jury believes that the roof of the building could be used as a tool to generate a challenging dialogue with the courtyards and the entire sectional quality of the design.

Controversial to the jury is the proximity of the headquarters building to the Pearl Marzouq complex. The jury recommends to examine shifting of the building towards the harbor, perhaps with the upper floors cantilevering the public path. This would not only increase the open space between the existing and new building, but also allow shifting the ramp to the underground parking that must be within the site boundaries. In addition, the size of the parking area would be increased.

Within the framework of building structure, the installed glass elements should be combined with outer sun-blinds. The inner courtyards could get outer ÔÇťsun sailsÔÇŁ which reflect solar radiation: these sun sails should be designed in order to have 40 to 50% daylight reaching the inner gardens. The concept of the green courtyards should be structured in that they could be have good natural ventilation, with an evaporating cooling effect by water and plants (mixed cooling with fresh water).

For the Conference Center, the jury evaluates that the exterior architectural expression is lacking significance and must be further developed in detailing materials. However, the organization of Conference Center is well defined and allows visitors experience various spaces related to a complex section. The idea of moving the auditorium slightly away from the main building is found quite interesting and provides a clear differentiation of the visitorsÔÇÖ flux while also defining an interesting public space in front of the seaside. Similar to the headquarters building the jury believes that the fa├žade design should be improved to generate a better relationship with the section.

As for the general building structure evaluation, the technical plant rooms seem to be sufficient in size as well as height. However, the size of the shafts that are approximately 25-30 sqm in both buildings are found insufficient; they need to be about 70 sqm. The proposals for active sustainable elements are seen as suitable: photo-voltaic elements on the roof, thermal collectors for desalination of the seawater and the use of this water for evaporation cooling. Overall, the jury values the design as a courageous, consistent contribution whose conceptual and structural approach delivers the implementation of all functional requirements and sensitivity towards traditional context.