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Nichtoffener Wettbewerb | 12/2018

KFAS New Headquarters for Kuwait

2. Preis

METAFORM architects

Architektur

Transsolar Energietechnik GmbH

Energieplanung

SGI Ingénierie SA

Bauingenieurwesen

LATZ+PARTNER LandschaftsArchitektur Stadtplanung

Landschaftsarchitektur, Stadtplanung / StÀdtebau

Bartenbach GmbH - Bereich Lighting Design

Lichtplanung

Beurteilung durch das Preisgericht

The prominent qualities of the buildings are their landmark character, the high-rise design for the offices, and a plinth for the entrance and common spaces. The idea of a roof for the plinth, as a continued “topographic” ground surface to the underside of the high-rise building is appreciated by the jury. Within the frame of the site, the jury lauds the waterfront promenade that continues along the new Headquarters building towards the Conference Center and integrates the Ras Al-Ard peninsula in the overall waterfront transformation of Kuwait City.

The base volume of the headquarters building facilitates a level of engagement with the public realm. The shading system echoes the geometry of the façades. The Headquarters building tower creates a landmark on the edge of the peninsula visible from downtown and the South. The volumetric form is shaped in order not to disturb surrounding residential neighbors. The two buildings are well scaled compared to each other. They do form a pair that relate well to each other on the larger site, without duplication of form or style. As for the technical evaluation, the office floors are classically designed and allow a good convertibility between enclosed office spaces (manager offices) and open, predominantly single row occupancy.

The low depth of the office spaces allows a good visual positioning of the workplaces to the outside space, but this also leads to somewhat less variability in the arrangement of workplaces. In a further development, the depth could possibly be increased on one side. As a result of the high-rise characteristic, there is a strong communicative and functional separation of the individual floors. In the actual design, this restriction should be reduced by the external façade spiraling "green band", but as this is outside the thermal façade it is expected that this will not really be used by the employees. In the case of further development, a different concept for linking the floors should be considered; it may be sufficient to link only two or three floors at a time and thus return this connection to the conditioned work area.The façade must be designed in a way that the glass elements will be in shadow to mitigate the effects of the harsh sunlight. Mechanical plant-rooms for building services seem large enough but the shafts in both buildings are too small. The concept for natural ventilation from October to February in the tower by wind speeds over 3-4 m/s is appreciated and supported by the jury. Part of the conference center could also be naturally ventilated in the same way. A real concept of using renewable energy - wind or solar - is poor. The palm trees on the roof are not useful. The jury recommends to increase the footprint of the tower. The elevator lobby in the towers is insufficient in size and needs to be enlarged to represent an appropriate and prestigious welcome. Clarity of circulation in the first three floors which engages the public and the building functions needs more clarification. A more welcoming entrance(s) for the main tower is needed. The Convention Center main lobby needs to be more appropriately scaled to support entry and welcoming activities.

Consequently, the project is commended for its landmark character but is critiqued for its somewhat undersized design and lacking technical configurations.