Sponsored: Wafra Wind Tower Project

Post by Sponsor

Project Name: Wind Tower
Type: Housing | 6,500 sqm
Location: Salmiya, Behind Laila Gallery
Develoer: Wafra Real Estate Co.

Awards:
– A’Design Awards 2012 – Silver A’Design Award “Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category – Residential Complex”
– International Property Awards (IPA) 2011 – Highly Commended at Arabian Residential Property Awards “High Rise Architecture”

Wafra Wind Tower introduces a new concept to urban living that adapts to the evolving lifestyle of 21st Century contemporary Kuwait. Considering the increasing demand for land in the city, the transformation of single family dwelling typologies becomes a must, where tenants should be able to enjoy privacy as well as benefit from vertical solution amenities and prime location. 13 unique apartment are now ready to rented as the new tenant can enjoys all the facilities and amenities provided in the tower.

Understanding and reinterpreting local environmental techniques is one of the main targets of this design. The services core of the building is thus located on the southern wing, in order to minimize sun exposure and consequently reduce energy consumption – acting as a thermal barrier to the rest of the building. Hence, minimum openings are placed on the aforementioned façade, while on the other hand the building opens to the North, facing the sea and enjoying its privileged views. Optimal opportunities for natural lighting and cross ventilation also become an essential driving force for the design, which give the tower its character and determine its final orientation. Taking the idea of the traditional middle-eastern courtyard typology and developing it volumetrically, the initial concept flourishes in the form of the tower. The courtyard is no longer constrained to the core of the building; instead, it borrows light and ventilation from the facade, funnels it through the pool area and flows through all levels finding its way out through the opposite façade.

Granite stone is chosen for the façade, in order to give the tower an aspect of a monolithic sculpture that is carved by the wind, in contrast with the smooth surfaces of the interior courtyard that are rendered in white plaster.

Functionally and geometrically, the tower is raised on a plinth that comprises 2 levels, where public spaces – including swimming pool and gym area – are located. The apartments rise up organically and allow for light and ventilation to penetrate through. Full tower height is 13 levels. An extra penthouse crowns the building, including rooftop gardens and terraces that are advantageously profited.

For any inquiries for the project you can kindly contact WAFRA Real Estate: 22053103


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Conveyorgate

Post by Mark

I had a plan. I was supposed to fly out of Kuwait Airport at 5AM via Qatar Airways, land in Doha, spend an hour and a half killing time before my second flight to Nice (France) also via Qatar Airways. I would have landed in Nice at 2PM, around the same time my best friend’s flight would have also landed. We were gonna pick up our rental, drive down the coast of France all the way to Marseilles, stopping along the way for some beach time and food.

Great plan if it wasn’t for the fact the Kuwait Airport luggage conveyer belt for check-in stopped working this morning. It was a disaster with bags pilled up all around and check-in taking far longer than it usually would. My flight ended up taking off over an hour late and by the time I landed in Doha, I had around 10 minutes to make it to my next flight. I realized I had a 90% I wouldn’t make the flight and let my friends know that before I took off from Kuwait. I stayed calm, I figured stressing wouldn’t solve anything and I accepted the fact I was gonna miss my flight.

Luckily, once I got out of the plane there was a Qatar Airways employee waiting for me, she told me we had to rush to my plane because they were waiting for me. I sent my friends a message letting them know I was miraculously gonna make it. While we were running to my gate the employee tells me they printed me a new boarding pass, just as she is giving it to me she notices something, the boarding pass was for August 18th.. the next day. Because my flight from Kuwait was delayed, they issued me a ticket for the next flight to Nice which was the same time but for the next day. I was devastated. I wanted to continue running to my gate but she told me it was too late, they would have closed it by now. I was mentally ready to miss the flight but then had my hopes raised only to be disappointed again. It sucked.

I stayed calm, I didn’t get upset or angry, I was a bit annoyed definitely but calm. We went to the transfer desk because I asked if there was a way I could get to Nice earlier. While waiting there everyone around me was screaming at the employees and I was just thinking how this must be the shittiest job in the world having to deal with all these frustrated and angry customers. The thing I found the most surprising was how they were finding me alternative flights to Nice. I thought there was some kind of sophisticated mechanism, a smart software with some sort of algorithm that would figure out the fastest way to get a person to a destination. But it wasn’t anything like that, it kinda seemed very manual.

First they came back to me telling me I could fly out through Zurich and I’d arrive in Nice 10AM the next day. I then asked if there was a flight via Paris, so they checked and came back to me 15 minutes later telling me there was, but it had a 12 hour layover and I’d arrive to Nice the next day at 8AM. I then asked them what about flights via London. They got back to me telling me there was a flight via London and I’d end up in Nice at 2AM, but the flight from London to Nice was fully booked. I told them they could put me in economy and that I didn’t care but she said it was against their policy. I told her to try at least, so she left and came back 15 minutes later, this time telling me there was another flight from London and I could be in Nice by 11:30PM. And thats the flight I’m taking now, boarding actually starts in around 30 minutes. Kinda weird that I had to come up with routes when I would assume their software could do that.

Overall, a pretty dramatic morning for what should have been a routine trip. At least I’m flying out now on A380 (my original flight was a Dreamliner), I think there is a bar with a lounge onboard which should be pretty cool. I was actually just thinking how Qatar Airways put me on a more expensive flight so I could still get to Nice today which was pretty nice of them. It wasn’t their fault that the conveyor belt at the airport stopped working, they could have just kept me on tomorrows flight. So definitely a good experience for a shitty situation.


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Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

The movies below are now showing at either Cinescape, Grand Cinemas or Sky Cinemas:

New This Week:
Richard the Stork (5.9)
Security (5.8)
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (6.7)
Annabelle: Creation (7.2) ♦

Other Movies Showing:
47 Meters Down (5.8)
Atomic Blonde (7.2) ♦
Baby Driver (8.3) ♦
Dunkirk (8.6) ♦
First Kill (4.8)
Kidnap (6.0)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (7.0)
Resident Evil: Vendetta (6.3) ♦
The Dark Tower (7.7)
The Emoji Movie (1.7)
The Hatton Garden Job (6.6)
The Wall (6.3)
War for the Planet of the Apes (8.5)

The movies below are also now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

A Beautiful Planet 3D (7.9)
Dream Big 3D (7.9)
Humpback Whales 3D (7.2)
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D (N/A)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.
★ is for movies I’m interested in. ♦ implies movie might contain censorship.


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My Favorite Coffee Shops

Post by Mark

The other day I posted a list of speciality coffee shops around Kuwait and it’s a pretty overwhelming list. Thats why I decided to create a much smaller list by sharing my personal favorite coffee spots:

% ARABICA
I’ve only been drinking coffee since around September of last year and I only started because of the Arabica team who got me to try a bunch of different coffees. Now I’m super loyal to the brand to the point where people wonder if I’m their brand ambassador. I’m actually typing this post while I’m sitting there right now having my coffee. I love their short hot lattes and on a super warm day when I’m craving something sweet, I like their iced Spanish latte. They’re where I get all my freshly roasted beans from and they also have the best pain au chocolat in Kuwait.

VOL.1
Vol.1 is what started the whole coffee craze in Kuwait. Although they weren’t the first speciality coffee shop in Kuwait, it was their success that sparked the local coffee revolution. Their location in Mayar Complex in Shuwaikh (pictured below) has probably one of the nicest interiors of any store in Kuwait if not the nicest. My favorite coffee is their cortado.

CAFFEINE
Caffeine are probably the first or one of the very first speciality coffeeshops to open up in Kuwait. I never liked their location in Souk Mubarakiya but their new location in Shuwaikh across from Mayar Complex is pretty sweet (pictured on the very top). The only downside is I have terrible phone signal there and they don’t have wifi, so take a book with you. My favorite coffee is their spiced latte.

RICHARD’S COFFEE
Originally started off as a pop-up (pictured below), Richard’s Coffee recently moved into their new permanent home in Kuwait City. Their interior is pretty minimal and chill with their atmosphere being the most hipsterish of the bunch listed here. My favorite coffee is their cold brew.

TOBY’S ESTATE
I actually crave the coffee at Toby’s, they have a drink called Toby’s Latte which is infused with vanilla and tastes so good so I usually drop by whenever I miss it. Their location on the same street at Vol.1 doesn’t have a lot of seating let alone tables so I usually just pick up my coffee and go.

richardscoffee1

Also, while we are on the subject of coffee, the Kuwait Aeropress Championship is being held next week so if you want more details or you want to compete, click [Here]


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On a Kuwaiti Island, Relics of the Gulf War

Post by Mark

Failaka Island was recently featured in the New York Times “The Daily 360”. Th video is composed of a bunch of short 360 degrees videos stitched together which you can move around in. Check it out above or in full screen on the NYT website [Here]


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Police Still Punishing Illegal Parkers

Post by Mark

Back in November the Ministry of Interior announced that cops were going to start removing the license plates of illegally parked cars. A month later I posted about how impressed I was that the cops were actually still actively remove car plates. Fast forward to today and the cops are still at it. New laws pop up all the time and most of them don’t stick around so its pretty damn impressive that cops are still going around removing car plates, even with the ridiculously hot August weather.


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Sponsored: Seasoned – A New Take on Home Cooked Meals

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What is Seasoned?
Seasoned is a meal delivery service that aims to provide you, your friends, and family with home cooked meals in the most convenient way possible. If you are tired of eating from restaurants, or don’t have time to properly cook at home or the chalet, then Seasoned is the solution for you. Seasoned knows how valuable your time is, which is why your meal is prepared by us much as possible without compromising its quality, leaving only the final preparation to you . We take care of the hard part and you add the finishing touches for a perfect home-cooked meal.

How does it work?
Simply browse Seasoned’s menu on www.seasonedkw.com and order by phone on 2464 3652 or WhatsApp 6685 7740. Seasoned offers a variety of your favorite dishes from a wide range of international cuisines such as the Indian Butter Chicken, Thai Green Curry, Chicken Machboos, Veal Parmesan & more. Seasoned also offers great sides such as samboosas, spring rolls, salads, and soups.

Seasoned’s meals are very easily prepped and do not take more than 30 minutes of your time. All that is required of you is to follow the easy steps of the attached instruction guide. Meals come in portions of 2, 4 or 8 people and you will need to order a day before. Currently, Seasoned offers an a la carte menu (order when you like) with subscription services coming soon.

Follow us on Instagram @seasonedkw to see our great dishes and sides and to keep up to date as we expand our menu to include more of your favorites.

Why Seasoned?
Plenty of reasons. Firstly, Seasoned is proud to serve the finest ingredients in the market to make sure you and your loved ones are enjoying clean and healthy dishes. All our food is fresh, never frozen. Secondly, Seasoned’s main goal is to provide that “home-cooked” feel that is so greatly appreciated, without the trouble of grocery shopping or cooking for hours. With Seasoned you can guarantee generous portions, tasteful aromas, and an experience worth repeating. You can prepare the meal at any time you like as our deliveries occur hours before meal time. Also, you can serve the food in your own dishes for your family and guests. Seasoned guarantees incredible taste with great value for your money.

Seasoned understands that convenience and comfort are key to your daily lives. That is why the instruction guides that come with every meal are as simple as it gets. Meals can be prepared without any experience in cooking. Impress your guests with the taste of a home cooked meal, avoid all the fast food at the chalet, or simply enjoy a meal with your loved one after a stressful day’s work.


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Sole Lab Sneaker Store

Post by Mark

Sole Lab is a new sneaker store that opened up a couple of months ago. It’s a small shop that is aiming to make unique and limited sneakers more accessible in the local market. I dropped by yesterday to check the place out and although I didn’t pick up anything, they did have a few good looking sneakers especially the women ones.

The shop is located in Tilal Complex in Shuwaikh and they’re currently in a soft opening phase so open from 2PM to 10PM. Whenever they get new sneakers they post them on their instagram account so follow them @solelabkw to stay updated on their collection.


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List of Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurants in Kuwait

Post by Mark

A lot of people are becoming vegetarian or vegan for some reason so figured it was worth putting this list together. Below is a list of restaurants that have a large selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes (not salads). I’m sure I missed out on a whole lot so let me know what else to add below.

Fed by JM
Ginger
Greenland
Healthy Feast
OVO
Saravanaa Bhavan
Skinny Fork
Super/Foods
The Bowl
Udupi


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When are you moving to L.A.?

Post by Mark

Since I’ve gotten back from my vacation I’ve been asked that question over a dozen times. The truth of the matter is, although it is something I consider every year when I visit L.A., I don’t think I’m leaving anytime soon. Other than the fact I still have things I want to accomplish while here, when I talk to family and friends living in L.A., I realize the grass is not that greener over there. I mean I’ve always known that, ever since I was a kid and played the PC game Theme Park. If you wanted to start a park in a highly populated country, you had to pay much more for the land. If you didn’t want to pay for land, then you’d have to build in a country with a smaller population which meant less income for your park. There were things you needed to compromise on depending on what country you wanted to build your theme park in, and its the same in real life. We compromise on one thing, but in return we have something else going for us here.

When people living in L.A. ask me about life in Kuwait. I tell them about how things are here and their eyes get all dreamy, wishing they were living in Kuwait and had our lifestyle. We generally have it pretty easy over here and in my case, super easy.

So yeah things aren’t perfect here and I’m usually the first to point the issues out, but if you don’t appreciate what we having going for us right now (we really do have a lot going for us), then you’re probably not making the best use of your time here.


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