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Nichtoffener Wettbewerb | 12/2018

KFAS New Headquarters for Kuwait

outside

outside

3. Preis

querkraft architekten zt gmbh

Architektur

Kieran Fraser Landscape Design

Landschaftsarchitektur

Green4Cities GmbH

Landschafts- / Umweltplanung

IPJ Ingenieurbüro P. Jung GmbH

Bauingenieurwesen

werkraum ingenieure zt gmbh

Bauingenieurwesen

ErlÀuterungstext

the headquarters building and the conference center are closely related in their appearance, but differentiate themselves in the proportion, the programmatic content and interior detailing.

the appearance of both headquarters and conference centre is marked by an outer skin that provides shade and whose pattern mimics the cellular structure of plants, in reference to the geometric forms in Kuwait’s traditional shading systems

the opening and density of the outer sun shading are adapted according to the uses inside the building and to the orientation of each façade.

behind the outer skin sits a fully glazed curtain wall façade offering impressive views over the sea, the marina and its surroundings.

the use of photovoltaic panels integrated in the outer skin provides an additional element to filter light and frame views from the inside, whilst supplying at least 30% of the building’s electricity consumption.

both buildings are internally conceived with a simple and clear structural grid, in which the different uses – from small office units to open-plan spaces – are easily accommodated. the heart is in both cases an opulent hanging forest that provides an attractive and pleasant atmosphere while significantly reducing the needs for cooling and its running costs.

the use of a natural solution in a highly technical and future-oriented proposal emphasizes the responsible approach to energy consumption.

the green vertical landscape at the core the building is also projected outwards, inviting the visitors inside to contemplate and explore its complexity.

Beurteilung durch das Preisgericht

Conceptually, the jury praises the simple cube buildings featuring a ‘Biological Pattern’, a visual cell system based on plant structure, resulting in a varied and compelling building façade. In addition to the biological storyline, the interior consists of interrelated open spaces with a profusion of plants and hanging garden features as a reference to the environmental ecosystem. The jury appreciates the connection of tradition and future in the outside appearance as well as general design approach. The inspiration of the biological cell forms and open space design, combined with the relation to traditional sustainable features found in the region are convincing.

Nevertheless, the jury would have appreciated a higher differentiation between the two buildings to produce a more innovative ensemble with greater individuality for the two buildings that have not only different functions but also different parts within the KFAS story line. The proposal for the area between the two buildings and the master plan in general is well received by the jury. With regards to the site and urban features of the project, the entrances to the buildings from the North and the South allow easy access from the “marina walk” and the street. A “souk of knowledge” connects the two buildings and forms a “scientific promenade” as well as an interaction with the sea through several lower basins providing the public with a pedestrian connection to the water. A similar plant pattern is used horizontally to organize the spine into manageable areas.

Within the scope of the Headquarters building, the architecture consists of several layers, with shading structures and a glass façade. Core stair-cases distribute circulation within each of the buildings. The roof is covered with a similar shade structure to ensure usability in the harsh climate. Concrete structure, with hanging features, is prevalent throughout the core of the building.

For the Conference Center building, the architecture and interior distribution of space is very similar to that of the Headquarters. The excessive resemblance may require substantial redesign to reflect the different functions of the Conference Center, to create a complementary rather than a mirror image. This point applies to both the interior and exterior.

On a technical level the inner plant room has a high visual quality for the workplaces, especially because the plants are actually located inside the office building. In addition, there are good visual connections between the work zones of the different floors. The design allows for a high degree of flexibility and diversity in the arrangement of workplaces, and also allows enclosed rooms to be converted into open zones, and vice versa. In contrast to other designs, an increase in the proportion of closed rooms does not lead to a significant reduction in the quality of the open areas. The proportions of the management office are somewhat overextended, although they could be adjusted by reducing their size.

In case of further development, it should be investigated whether the visual connections between the floors can be reproduced, partly by staircase connections. It may also not be necessary to have four Conference Center cores, which would also benefit from the horizontal organization of the work zones. Behind the outer skin (outer layer), the glass elements should be combined with outer sun-blinds. The green courtyards should be closed on top, with opening glass panels that may provide shadow – about 15% of the total surface, to achieve controlled ventilation. The inner gardens should have real vegetation to produce the desired cooling effect.

The technical mechanical plant rooms seem adequate, though they are not shown in the basement, and they need to have a clear height dimension of 4.5m. The shafts are only 50% of the required size. An active system to use solar energy is only seen in vertical façade elements. The explained building systems are conventional. The jury recommends to reduce the size of buildings and volumes by approximately 10%, to allow less ground coverage and to correspond with the required program. Part of this could be the reduction of the dimension of one or two of the cores.

The current design is promising but includes risks for implementation and operation. In further development. It would need high degree of technical and professional know-how to be developed successfully. Further evidence and studies are needed to show how the buildings’ light and temperature are regulated. Practicality of maintaining the plants alive and green features inside the building needs to be carefully studied. Parking needs to accommodate at least 365 spaces for the Convention Center. The ramp design needs to be checked with Fire Department to meet safety requirements. Façades can be even more varied in order to accommodate the different exposures of all the building elevations. The threshold of façade and building entrances could be more open.

Overall, the project is commended by the jury for its conceptual and innovative approach towards working areas, the successful interpretation of the program requirements, and the story line. However, the design is criticized for its lack of technical background, which its conceptual development requires.
Lageplan

Lageplan

site plan

site plan

Visualisierung & Diagramme

Visualisierung & Diagramme

urban concept

urban concept

Visualisierung & Diagramme

Visualisierung & Diagramme

interior

interior

outside

outside

elevation east

elevation east

section

section

ground floor

ground floor

4th floor

4th floor

9th floor

9th floor

north elevation

north elevation

section

section

hanging forest

hanging forest

facade section

facade section

roof terrace

roof terrace