The story of the oil industry in Kuwait is central to the country’s history and national identity. With the establishment of the Kuwait Oil Company in the 1930’s, and a subsequent series of significant reserve discoveries, Kuwait quickly established itself as a global leader in oil and gas production. From its earliest origins, the company has prided itself on a spirit of technology, innovation and discovery. Pace in collaboration with SOM, were asked to reimagine a new home for KOC's Kuwait International Petroleum Research Centre (KIPRC) to represent a cutting-edge manifestation of these values for modern times.
The new KIPRC will provide a world-class research facility that celebrates this connection, creating an icon that is both futuristic and forward thinking, but ultimately rooted in the land from which it is born. Whether flying overhead, or arriving to the campus from the surrounding context, a visitor will see an iconic structure hovering slightly above the ground. Rippling concentrically away from the buildings, a series of earth berms rise from the desert floor and then are echoed in the roof profile of the buildings themselves. Landscape and architecture ascend in a unified gesture to frame the symbolic heart of the campus: a web of interconnected collaborative spaces.