Reach for the skies

Kuwait's new mega structure combines grace of form with functionality

by Tarek Shuaib 31 October 2010 Interior
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    Arraya Tower, one of Kuwait's tallest buildings at 300 m above ground level, takes its place beside the nearby Kuwait Towers as an iconic building of this leading Gulf state.

    Becoming a new focal point in the city's new Financial District, the Arraya centre integrates a shopping mall, entertainments complex and the office facilities and is ideally situated in close proximity to the nation's seat of government, its major financial institutions, banks, stock exchange and chamber of commerce, the main ministries of government, plus a full range of international hotels and retail centres.

    Designed by PACE and Fentress Architects for the Salhia Real Estate Company, the planning and detailing of the tower was done in close coordination with the Municipality's building and planning departments. Conforming to t e permitted floor area ratio, the 60-storey tower, with a gross built-up area of 62,000 sq m, was able to combine grace of form with functionality, with all floors providing efficient layouts and a flexibility of office size and design.

    The height of the building optimized space a ground level, sufficient to ensure adequate on-site parking and circulation and efficient and safe access to and from the bounding distributor road network. Designing and constructing what would be Kuwait's tallest building brought many new challenges, both for the architects and the responsible government agencies. Safety was high on the list of priorities, and in cooperation with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Kuwait Fire Service, many innovative features were incorporated into the design, including the designation of levels 20 and 40 as evacuation floors in the event of fire.


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