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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Al Hamra, Kuwait City, Kuwait

SOM designed Al Hamra carves a landmark to overlook Kuwait
SOM’s Al Hamra design for Kuwait’s tallest skyscraper has begun its realisation as, at 34 stories and 161 m high in its construction phase, it is now visible from miles around. Due to rise to 412 m in height, Al Hamra will be the world’s tallest ‘sculpted’ tower and Kuwait’s tallest skyscraper creating a dramatic focal point that is visible throughout the city.

On the outside the tower curves like a curled newspaper to its highest point with the outer north, west and east curve fully glazed and the inner curve a solid sculpted barrier from the harsh desert sun to the south. From inside, the office tower benefits from views across the city and the Arabian Gulf.

The geometry of the interior wall is generated and responds to the need to minimize solar heat gain. This wall not only protects the building from critical environmental conditions but also takes on the role of the structural spine of the building. The point at the apex of the tower not only resolves this complex geometry of the carved flared walls but also implies the continuation of the sculptural form infinitely upwards.

The tower will welcome tenants with a soaring 24-meter tall lobby with a high articulated lamella structure, or membrane, which supports the tower above and articulates the space below. The structure provides continuity from the building to its footing and acts as a strengthening component while being completely integrated with the structure.

Facilities at the tower will include 6 levels of retail; a rooftop garden held above the retail sector; the largest business centre within Kuwait at 2,400 sq m buildup and 1,800 sq m leasable; a Sky Lounge restaurant; 40 elevators to help you reach those dizzying heights; two refuge floors which can be used in an emergency and a multi-storey car park.

With the collaboration of (Turner International) and (Ahmadiah Contr.) SOM hope to reach completion of the project by the 3rd quarter of 2010.

Niki May Young
News Editor
architecture NOW

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