Al Hamra Tower

Al Hamra Tower
Al Hamra Tower
Al Hamra Tower

This mixed-use structure's distinct form pulls from local traditions and establishes itself as an icon along Kuwait City's skyline.

Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2011
  • Design Finish Year 2006
  • Size Site Area: 10,000 Building Height: 412 meters Number of Stories: 74 Building Gross Area: 195,000 square meter
  • Awards
    2008, American Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2012, Award of Excellence: Landmark Structures, Structural Engineers Association of California 2008, MIPIM Future Project Award: Tall Buildings, MIPIM/Architectural Review 2008, MIPIM Future Project Award: Overall, MIPIM/Architectural Review 2013, Design Award, AIA – New York City Chapter 2008, International Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2012, Award for Commercial or Retail Structure, Institution of Structural Engineers 2007, Bronze Unbuilt Project, Miami Architectural Bienal 2010, Commercial / Mixed Use Built, Cityscape 2012, Best of What's New, Popular Science Magazine 2012, Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa: Finalist, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2011, Skyscraper Award: Silver Medal, Emporis 2012, International Structures over $100 Million, National Council of Structural Engineers Association 2012, Award of Excellence: Landmark Structures, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California 2013, Best International Project Over $150 Million, Structural Engineers Association Of Illinois 2012, Excellence in Structural Engineering, National Council of Structural Engineers Association 2013, Architizer A+ Award: Office Building High Rise, Finalist, Architizer 2014, Commercial Project of the Year, Middle East Architect Awards 2015, Excellence in Concrete Construction: High-Rise Buildings, American Concrete Institute 2015, Design Award for Built Projects, AIA – Middle East
  • Collaborators
    Van Deusen & Associates Al-Jazera Consultants
Project Facts
  • Completion Year 2011
  • Design Finish Year 2006
  • Size Site Area: 10,000 Building Height: 412 meters Number of Stories: 74 Building Gross Area: 195,000 square meter
  • Awards
    2008, American Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2012, Award of Excellence: Landmark Structures, Structural Engineers Association of California 2008, MIPIM Future Project Award: Tall Buildings, MIPIM/Architectural Review 2008, MIPIM Future Project Award: Overall, MIPIM/Architectural Review 2013, Design Award, AIA – New York City Chapter 2008, International Architecture Award, Chicago Athenaeum 2012, Award for Commercial or Retail Structure, Institution of Structural Engineers 2007, Bronze Unbuilt Project, Miami Architectural Bienal 2010, Commercial / Mixed Use Built, Cityscape 2012, Best of What's New, Popular Science Magazine 2012, Best Tall Building Middle East & Africa: Finalist, Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) 2011, Skyscraper Award: Silver Medal, Emporis 2012, International Structures over $100 Million, National Council of Structural Engineers Association 2012, Award of Excellence: Landmark Structures, Structural Engineers Association of Northern California 2013, Best International Project Over $150 Million, Structural Engineers Association Of Illinois 2012, Excellence in Structural Engineering, National Council of Structural Engineers Association 2013, Architizer A+ Award: Office Building High Rise, Finalist, Architizer 2014, Commercial Project of the Year, Middle East Architect Awards 2015, Excellence in Concrete Construction: High-Rise Buildings, American Concrete Institute 2015, Design Award for Built Projects, AIA – Middle East
  • Collaborators
    Van Deusen & Associates Al-Jazera Consultants

A desire to maximize waterfront views while minimizing solar heat gain inspired the building’s asymmetrical form, which calls to mind the traditional bisht robes worn by Kuwaitis. The purity of its form, expressed by a simple operation of removal, makes the tower a timeless, elegant marker in the heart of Kuwait City. A quarter of each floor plate is chiseled out of the south side, shifting from west to east over the height of the building. The result reveals a rich, monolithic stone at the south wall framed by the graceful, twisting “ribbon” walls that gesture toward the sky.

At the base of the mixed-use complex (including offices and an upscale shopping mall), the main, 80-foot lobby on the north side of the tower extends from the tower’s core to its perimeter frame. Columns along the exterior slope inwards, defining the street-level appearance while structurally supporting the rest of the tower. Each floor plate is rotated counterclockwise around the core in order to create an ascending, geometric unraveling. Constructed of Jura limestone, the south-facing core wall stands out from the other three glass-enclosed sides of the tower. The tower’s twisted ribbon walls provide asymmetrical flair, but it’s not just for sake of appearance — the design consciously maximizes views of the Arabian Gulf and minimizes solar heat gain. A restaurant and observation deck sit at the top of the tower in a 130-foot-high space. Visitors are treated to tremendous, unobstructed views of the city thanks to a cantilevered truss system that supports the curtain wall and reduces the amount of columns needed.

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