Drone View of the New Cultural Center

Post by Mark

cultural-center

The Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Centre was expected to open back in February but it’s now expected to open in November. It looks ridiculously good.

Thanks lovelykuwait


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Marina Beach on a Summer Day

Post by Mark

marinabeach

Don’t think I had ever seen the beach this packed before. [High Res]


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History of the Kuwait National Museum

Post by Mark

kna

An invited competition was launched in 1960 for the construction of a museum in Kuwait City. Michel Ecochard won this project while his work was flourishing, especially in Lebanon. However, between the time of the project and its realisation, a long waiting period elapses. Michel Ecochard expressed doubts about the likelihood of this project being completed at all.

The Museum programme was based around several themes, including areas devoted to the oceans and to the field of culture, another to the oil industry, and a botanical garden. The first section relates to culture and administration; a space dedicated to archaeology, art, ethnography and folk traditions. Offices and storage areas extend into an outdoor exhibition area, with spaces reserved for temporary exhibitions and an auditorium. A separate building is reserved for displays on the theme of “Kuwait, today and tomorrow”, a dome-like structure, connected by a walkway to the main building. One can also gain access from the garden. A space with a high ceiling is able to house the machinery of oil chemistry; the second part of the second storey addresses the scientific and industrial applications of oil, and is covered by a dome structure that stands out from the rest. The main entrance is located between the two buildings.

It is interesting to note that the section of the Museum part devoted to traditional life partially recreates the organisation of the so-called traditional city, with a market for traditional crafts such as tanning, jewellery-making, pottery, weaving, and fishing. Buildings organised around a central patio reproduce forms of traditional habitat. In the area destined to house the zoological and botanical garden, an itinerary encouraging strolling, with the first floor transparent, is provided via ramps and walkways connecting the floors, allowing a view of the botanic garden and a large aquarium. The strength of the architectural design comes from the fact that each section is both independent and connected to everything else, both in the interior and exterior areas.

The architecture is resolutely modern with the use of concrete pillars and beams. The rhythmic façades are punctuated by areas with small rectangles made from work blocks. The architecture has been designed in response to the climate to avoid both the sun and sandstorms. It should be noted that the sun-shade was conceived as a way to create a microclimate and a variation of light according to the coverage needs. The idea is to create protection through a flat roof made of open, light, metal, a “microclimate” in which the museum and its immediate surroundings can function independently of the outside temperature. This is a huge shelter that is 28m high, with widely spaced pillars.

The museum was looted and burned during the 1990 Iraq invasion and it remained in that state until very recently. The museum is now currently under renovation.

museum

All the images and text above were taken from Archnet [Link] They also have a scan of an interesting publication relating to the museum which you can read [Here]

In 2014 I visited the museum and took photos of the inside before renovation work had started, you can check those out [Here]

knaold

The picture above is of the previous Kuwait National Museum. It was also destroyed during the 1990 Iraq invasion.


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Early Photos of Kuwaiti Landmarks

Post by Mark

preoil1

Found these two photos on @domestic_arch_kw which I hadn’t seen before. The one above is obviously the Kuwait Towers while the one below is the Fatma Mosque.

preoil2


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More Places to Get a Custom Picture Frame

Post by Mark

rogermoukarzel

Last year I posted about a frame shop in Shuwaikh which I used to customize a frame for one of my prints. Since then I’ve used two other shops as well, not because the original one I posted about wasn’t good enough, but mostly because I didn’t feel like going to Shuwaikh every time I needed a frame done.

Boushahri Group Photography And Graphic Arts
Most of you know Boushahri from back in the days when you needed to get your portrait photo taken for passports or civil IDs. Nowadays they’re a pretty tiny setup mostly just printing your digital photos and picture framing. I had a large black and white photo I needed framed along with a white mount so I decided to try Boushahri since they’re really close to my house. Their frame shop is located behind their photography shop and they had a large variety of frames to choose from as well as different colored mounts. I briefed them on the job, got a quote on the spot for KD15 which was really reasonable and was told the frame would be done in a couple of days. The next day they called me up and told me my frame was ready to pick up. Good service and a great price. Here is their location on [Google Maps]

michaelkagan

Elegant Frame & Art (Mashmoom)
I had been trying to get a hold of the Michael Kagan print above since end of 2013 and I finally managed to get a copy only a couple of months ago (long story involving lots of drama with the artist). Because of the importance of this print to me and the way I wanted it framed, I didn’t think my Shuwaikh guy would be able to do it. Although I’m sure Boushahri could, I figured I’d take it to a place that had more experience. There used to be a store near Salhiya called Elegant Frame & Art, I say used to be because when I passed by the location it turned out they had moved. I posted on twitter asking if anyone knew where they moved to and someone from Elegant Frame & Art contacted me telling me they moved to Sun City inside a store called Mashmoom. So I headed there, met with the specialist, briefed him on what I wanted and left. I had two prints by Michael, the one pictured above and another one thats roughly twice as tall. They told me they would need around a week to get it done and they’d let me know how much it would cost. Two days later they messaged me to tell me it would cost KD40… per frame! I thought that was too expensive but I honestly didn’t want to drive back to Sun City in Shuwaikh to pick up the prints nor was I in the mood to brief someone else on the job. So I ended up haggling and managed to drop the price down to KD60 for both. Five days later the frames were ready to pick up. They ended up framing the prints exactly like how I wanted them framed and it was pretty much a perfect job except for two things. One of the frames has what looks like a bit of glue/dirt on the inside of the glass, luckily it’s over a colorful spot so doesn’t really show, there was also a bit of glue/dirt on the white frame which I managed to clean up myself. The other issue is with the frame border, I had originally briefed them that I wanted the thickness to be 2.5cm but when I gave them the go ahead on the job I told them I wanted it changed to 2cm instead. They kept it 2.5cm. On the positive side, they stuck like little cork bumpers on the back corners of the frame so not to damage the wall you’d be mounting on. Here is their location on [Google Maps]

So overall my experience was fairly positive but if I had to choose between the two I’d definitely go back to Boushahri. They’re more conveniently located, their prices were pretty good and the finishing of the frame was great. I think they’re going to be my go to place from now on instead of the Shuwaikh guy just because they’re located down the road from me.


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The KOC Archive: The Old Kuwait Airport

Post by Mark

oldairport

This is part of the last bunch of photos I have from my last trip to the KOC photography archive. I should pass by and get some more but for now, here are some old photos of the old Kuwait airport. Not sure where this airport was located so if someone could let us know that would be great.


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The KOC Archive: Old Kuwait (Part 3)

Post by Mark

oldkuwiat3

This is the last batch, part three of the three part series I’ve called “Old Kuwait”. All the photos below were taken during my visit to the KOC Photography Archive.


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The KOC Archive: Old Kuwait (Part 2)

Post by Mark

oldkuwait2

Here is the second part of the three part series “Old Kuwait”. All the photos below are from the KOC Photography Archive.


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The KOC Archive: Old Kuwait (Part 1)

Post by Mark

oldkuwait1

Because I can be so disorganized sometimes, I completely forgot about the photos I had gotten on my visit to The KOC Photography Archive back in 2014! I have a folder with around 175 photos of old Kuwait which I will be sharing in three parts, this is Part 1.


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25th Anniversary of 1991 Kuwaiti Oil Fires

Post by Mark

sheep

In April of 1991 following Iraqi military setting the Kuwait Oil Fields aflame, photographer Sebastião Salgado documented the environmental disaster. The New York Times featured some of his photos a few days ago which will be featured in his upcoming book, “Kuwait: Desert on Fire” which will be released by Taschen this coming August 2016. Check out his photos [Here]

If you want to purchase original prints of some his photos can you do so from [Here] but expect to pay on upwards of KD2,000 for a print.


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