Architecture Residential design

OMA wins competition for a residential development in Kuwait, its first project in the Gulf country

October 22, 2019

OMA has bagged a residential tower in Kuwait having won a competition. Led by Iyad Alsaka, Reinier de Graaf, Jad Semaan, and Adrianne Fisher, the Rotterdam-headquartered firm’s proposal for a residential project, The Wafra Tower, on Kuwait City’s waterfront, is being designed in collaboration with local partner Kuwait-based consultant Pace.

Located in the Hessa Al Mubarak District along Kuwait City’s waterfront, a district under construction, the tower puts in place five residential blocks creating a stepped configuration that “maximises occupancy on the lower floors and optimises views along the vertical axis of the building”. The design shifts from the regular L shaped block, offering all different apartment typologies and penthouses frameless panoramas across the gulf.

In a bold move, the circulation core is exposed, acting as the backbone of the whole structure, and the pivot that rotates the blocks. The unconventional design generates through its stepped shape, terraces that create recreational areas, swimming pools, and diwaniyas. On another level, the façade accentuates the twisted aspect of the tower, through a rectangular grid that highlights the movement of the blocks. A platform on the ground lobby holds lounge areas and co-working spaces.

Iyad Alsaka, partner in OMA since 2011, is in charge of the practice’s work in the Middle East and Africa, leading projects like the masterplan for the Waterfront City in Dubai, and the HAI Airport City masterplan in Doha, among others.

The OMA proposal was selected from three design entries in a competition organised by the Wafra Real Estate Company. Construction of the residential tower is expected to start at the end of 2020.

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