'Progression of Learning' encapsulated in Cambridge Seven Associates' MOE HQ
The Ministry of Education (MOE) is one of the largest and most prestigious ministries in Kuwait. Its 60,000 employees oversee the public education of Kuwaitis from kindergarten through graduate academic studies. This new headquarters facility will be the flagship of the Ministry, symbolising its commitment to providing excellence in education for future generations, and will house ten distinct Sectors within the Ministry. The interior design and space planning philosophy expresses the progression of learning: curiosity, exploration, discovery, and revelation. The spatial sequences allow both visitors and employees to experience the building as it unfolds.
The design inspiration for the building originated from the rich maritime history of Kuwait shipbuilders, whose elegant dhows and magnificent sails have graced the horizon for centuries. The dhow concept is conceived as two curved office buildings of different heights that overlap to form a large interior atrium. Thus, when approaching the site, one sees these two graceful building forms intersecting like the sails of two dhows passing each other on the sea. The building faces to the northeast and southwest will be smooth and shimmering, while the corresponding façades to the southeast and northwest will be covered with a louvered, protective screen.
The building will house administrative offices and support space for approximately 3,500 people and will include general departmental offices, a 600-seat auditorium for student performances, conference rooms, a central library, food service facilities, lounges, prayer rooms, exhibition space, and generous function space. It will contain state of the art building systems and will be flexibly designed to accommodate MOE’s near-term and long-term objectives.
An enclosed 10-storey, central atrium is the heart of the design and will provide a dramatic setting for public exhibitions, events and programs supporting MOE’s mission and showcasing its educational programs and accomplishments while celebrating Kuwaiti culture and heritage.