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Nichtoffener Wettbewerb | 12/2018

KFAS New Headquarters for Kuwait

4. Preis

Atelier Seraji

Architektur

Petitdidier Prioux Architectes

Architektur

VS-A

Architektur

DJAO-RAKITINE - Landscape Architecture

Landschaftsarchitektur

Beurteilung durch das Preisgericht

The very identity of the project is based on two monolithic buildings with similar designs, having façades using a common architectural language and strong verticality, which gives a sense of unity to the design and provides a significant landmark for the area. With regards to the view of the Headquarters building, the jury commends the simple and clear forms of the design as well as the revised orientation of the building which has an elaborated view towards the sea. The laterally arranged core allows for clear views of the surrounding areas, thus contributing to the higher attractiveness of the workplace conditions.

The interior spaces are well organized in term of office concepts and provide the employees a beautiful view to the sea and the city. As for the ground floor arrangements of the headquarters building, the jury recommends that the current northwestern entrance of the Headquarters building be situated at the southern edge in order to avoid invasion of public property. Consequently, this arrangement will require a re-positioning of the core inside the building. The jury also recommends the revision of the core due to the fire restrictions, and the sufficiency of corridors with relation to the elevator and the staircases. With regards to the high-rise quality of the Headquarters building, the total height of 135 meters is a result of the 6-meter height of each floor ‚Äď criticized for its excessiveness by the jury.

For this reason, the jury recommends to reduce the height of the office floors in order to have a reduced total height of the building. In addition, the vertical circulation between the individual floors are most likely to be limited according to the high-rise characteristics. The jury advices this weakness to be counteracted by a further development of the vertical connection - this can also include only two floors at a time. The current solution of coupling floors via stairs in buffer zone of the façade will probably not be used by the employees in the higher-temperature. The column-free office areas are commended by the jury for allowing a variety of different flexible workplace arrangements.

The façade design of the headquarters building and the exterior corridor represents an interesting alternative for the access to the office space, but it is foreseen by the jury that it will not be used as planned due to the increased temperatures in the buffer zones of the façade. This aspect should be considered either by the re-conception of the façade or by a different traffic routing. The partly corridor façade should have operable outer blinds, as should all the other façades. The double façade seems to be excessively wide and generates problems in terms of daily maintenance considering dust and sand storms.

The insufficiency of the parking area for the Headquarters building is criticized for not responding to the actual needs of the capacity of the building.

With regards to the Conference Center building, the section is lauded as interesting and well organized by the jury, especially in terms of functions and positioning of the core. However, the building is also critiqued for being excessively high in relation to the site.

The glazing façade of both buildings should be combined with outer semi blinds. The size of the technical plan rooms is found sufficient, but the height shall not be lower than 4.5 meters. The size of the shafts in both buildings are excessively small: each building need 70 sqm (shown only 5 sqm and 7 sqm).

With regards to the urban approach of the project layout, the jury appreciates the interconnecting aspect of the monorail connecting the whole area as well as the two buildings. This generates an interesting pedestrian path that later could become a popular attraction for the area and Kuwait City. The monorail stands alone, independent from the buildings, and integrates with a light undulating landscape. The raised monorail could arrive from the North-side direction, along the waterside promenade by the location of the existing Scientific Center and continue along the building serving the other science related functions in the area.

In summary, the design is praised for its clear nature in form, quality of exposure to the sea view, internal organizations and unity in design, but is also criticized for its excessive height and disconnected vertical design.