Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989

Post by Mark


Yesterday evening I was invited to the launch of the book “Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989” that was held at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah in Yarmouk. I really didn’t ask any questions about the event before I went since I’ve been wanting to get my hands on the book ever since I found out about it last year. So when one of the book authors invited me to the launch, I just went no questions asked. What I didn’t know was that there was going to be a presentation by Mr. Khalid al-Essa, the former Minister of Public Works and Dr. Ibrahim al-Shaheen, the former General Director of Public Authority of Housing and former Minister of Municipal Affairs. Both those presenters were around and involved during Kuwait’s architectural rise and once their presentation was over they took part in a panel discussion.


For those of you that have following the blog for awhile now you already know my obsession with Kuwait’s past and so I felt extremely lucky to be in attendance last night listening to the stories of how Kuwait went from mud buildings to having world renowned architects like Kenzo Tange, Jørn Utzon and I. M. Pei involved in local projects. Listening to the two of them talk last night reminded me again how truly young Kuwait is.


The book “Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989” is a combined effort by Roberto Fabbri, Sara Saragoça Soares and Ricardo Camacho. It involves over two years of investigative research as well as gorgeous photography taken by the gifted architectural photographer Nelson Garrido who travelled across Kuwait to document over 150 buildings that are featured in the book. The buildings are divided into four categories:

Specimens I – building as infrastructure: 1949-1960
Specimens II – building as national identity: 1961-1979
Specimens III – building as cityscape: 1971-1979
Specimens IV – building as programme: 1980-1989

As you can imagine, the book if fairly thick but with the amount of constant demolishing of old buildings taking place in Kuwait, its important to document as many buildings as possible before it’s too late.


The book costs KD22 and is available on Amazon [Link] and also at the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah bookshop in Yarmouk [Map]. If you have the slightest interest in architecture, design or Kuwait’s past then you should definitely get one.

This morning the architectural and design magazine Dezeen ran a piece on the book along with around 20 photos. Check it out, their article has a lot more details and the photos will give you a general idea of what to expect inside the book. Here is the [Link]

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Vote for the Ali Mohammed T. Al-Ghanim Clinic

Post by Mark


Last week I posted a link to the popular architecture website ArchDaily who had nominated Al Shaheed Park for “Building of the Year 2016” under the category Public Architecture. Over the weekend I was made aware that there was another nomination for a Kuwait based project, the Ali Mohammed T. Al-Ghanim Clinic. The clinic was designed by AGi architects and is nominated for “Building of the Year 2016” under the category Healthcare Architecture. The building looks pretty cool for a clinic and I actually want to pass by and check it out in person.

To see more pictures of the building click [Here]. On the other hand to vote for this project on the ArchDaily website, click [Here]

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Vote for Al Shaheed Park

Post by Mark

The popular architecture website ArchDaily have nominated Al Shaheed Park for “Building of the Year 2016” under the category Public Architecture. To help Al Shaheed Park win, all you need to do is vote for it on the ArchDaily website [Here]

ArchDaily did a full feature on Al Shaheed Park last year which I posted about [Here]

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Current Status of the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre

Post by Mark


For the people who were doubting the project would be completed in 2 years, looks like you were wrong. I’m hopefully going to get a site tour of the Cultural Centre soon and once I do I should have more pictures and information on the status.


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Blank Production

Post by Mark


One of the things that got me excited about checking out The Burrow Life gym was their teaser photos and videos which they shared on their instagram account. They set a very trendy tone to the gym and because the production of their photos and videos were so good I just assumed they had gotten them done outside of Kuwait. Then last week I found out from a friend that all their photos and videos were shot locally by a small production house called Blank Production.

Since it turns out their office was in the same building as mine, I passed by awhile ago to meet up with them and check out their work. They’ve only been around for three months now but already from their small portfolio it’s obvious they’re super talented. You can watch their showreel above or check out their website with more of their work [Here]

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Zeri Crafts

Post by Mark


I pretty much know my neighborhood inside out but every now and then I find out about a new place that ends up completely catching me by surprise. Zeri Crafts is one of those places.


Zeri Crafts is a small boutique located on the Gulf Road near the soon to open Dar Hamad restaurant. Back in the day when the Gulf Road used to still be a sandy beach, the location used to be a boat chalet. The place is still mostly all original with beautiful wooden window frames and the hooks to which the boats used to be tied to still embedded into the ceilings.


Zeri Crafts don’t have a lot of products but what they do have is very tasteful with a lot of thought going into them. All their items relate to the local culture be it with the designs or the materials they use. Their most recent collection which you can see in this post is very colorful and consist of textiles, objects, paperware, and leatherware.


You really need to pass by and check the place and their stuff out. They’re open from 10AM to 6PM and here is their location on [Google Maps]. You can also check out their website to get a better glimpse on some of their items as well as more information on Zeri Crafts. Here is the [Link]


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8 Modern Kuwaiti Residences

Post by Mark


Architizer have published a list of 8 modern homes in Kuwait and there are some great stuff there including my current favorite the Al Saif Residence pictured above. Check out the full list [Here]

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Sneak Peek: New Kuwait Government Website

Post by Mark


The Kuwait Government Online website is getting a facelift and you can get a preview of it right now. The redesigned website looks a lot cleaner and up to date than the current version as well as being easier to navigate. The new website is still in beta form so not everything is working yet but you can get a sneak peek at it by clicking [Here]

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Four Seasons Hotel Opening in 2016

Post by Mark


Four Seasons have published a press release a few days ago listing their new hotels that will be opening in 2016 and they had the below little tidbit on the Kuwait branch:

The first Four Seasons in Kuwait will be the 263-room Four Seasons Hotel Kuwait at Burj Alshaya in the central business district. An Italian dining concept created around three wood-burning ovens as well as a pan-Asian restaurant – both with outdoor terraces on the penthouse level – will be among five food and beverage options. Interiors by Yabu Pushelberg will include a spectacular indoor pool in the beautifully designed spa and fitness complex.


I just checked out the portfolio of Yabu Pushelberg and based on his previous work, I’d say we’re going to be in for a treat. [Link]

Update: Hotel is now expected to open on February 15, 2017.

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Urban Greenery Research and Desert Development

Post by Mark


The Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) promotes scientific and applied research, particularly in matters related to industry, natural and food resources and other primary constituents of the national economy. The project is located in the dense urban coastal neighborhood area of Salmiya facing the Gulf Road.

As well as its use for research and development of plants and sustainable technologies, the project aims to demonstrate the best practice in the field of research and development for the management of green space by current and future generations of Kuwait.

In addition to landscaping the site, Pace has designed nine buildings within the project, including an educational and research facility, observation pavilions, a demonstration greenhouse, and research offices.

The area where this project is proposed to be built is on the coastal part of Salmiya near where Gia and The Secret Garden are located and right down the road from where the worlds largest museum is being built. [Link]

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