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Design Kuwait

Google Celebrates Abdulhussain Abdulredha

Today’s Google homepage in the Middle East showcases an illustration created by the talented Kuwaiti illustrator, Ahmed Al-Refaie (owaikeo).

Google is celebrating the Kuwaiti comedian and national icon Abdulhussain Abdulredha on his 83rd birthday. Abdulhussain Abdulredha is widely considered to be one of the Arab community’s most significant actors and playwrights.

Ahmed has uploaded the process behind the illustration as well as some more information which you can check out on his Instagram account @owaikeo

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Design Food

Over Jar Has a New Look

Last night Over Jar, the local chocolate concept launched a new branding and interior look for their stores. The new look feels a lot more modern and futuristic, unlike their older look which felt a bit more rustic. I hadn’t tried them before last night and although chocolate and crolls are their thing, I think they might have the best banana bread in Kuwait.

The first location to get the new facelift is their 360 Mall branch, so if you want to check it out that’s where you should head to. They’re in the old 360 Mall, right next to Asha’s. @overjar

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Design Kuwait

World’s Largest Net Zero Community Planned for Kuwait

Yesterday the Dubai-based developer URB unveiled plans for XZERO CITY, a net zero carbon destination for 100,000 population that is planned for Southern Kuwait.

XZERO is a planned sustainable community, providing a net zero carbon lifestyle for 100,000 residents, in balance with nature. The city will provide food & energy security whilst promoting a green circular economy in an eco-friendly live, work & visit destination.

The development will provide 30,000 residential units and 30,000 jobs as well as tourism through its various eco-friendly hospitality assets, including a 5-star eco-resort and eco-lodges.

Sounds too good to be true?

I hadn’t heard of the developer URB until last night and looking through their Instagram and website it seems none of the projects they’ve proposed have actually been approved yet. So sadly this looks like a nice presentation but I don’t think anything will come of it.

For more details on the proposed project, click here.

Thanks Hind

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Design

Custom Aquarium Reefs

Aqua Motif is a local business that creates custom aquarium reefs. Just going through some of their work on Instagram makes me want to get an aquarium even though I have zero interest in fish. The one pictured above is their Kuwait skyline reef but they’ve got some other amazing ones including (and completely random), a Gorillaz band reef.

They’re located in the Pearl Marzouq complex in Salmiya but you can check out their work on Instagram @aquamotif

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Design

Inside the NBK Headquarters

If you’ve ever wanted to take a look inside of the NBK headquarters across the street from Hamra Tower, the website Archdaily has a feature about it with a ton of pictures. Sadly there are no pictures of the offices, just the main areas. Check out the photos here.

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Design

Palace of Justice to be Demolished

Since we are on the subject of beautiful buildings that are being demolished, the Palace of Justice building in the city is next once the new location that is under construction is completed. The Palace of Justice building was designed in the late 70s by the Scottish architect Sir Basil Spence, the same architect behind the Coventry Cathedral.

There has been an uproar in this decision on Twitter with people asking that the building be saved and repurposed into a hotel or something. Hopefully, that happens but doubt it.

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Design

KPTC Museum Under Construction

Photos were being shared last week of the old KPTC bus station in Kuwait City (Al Baloush) looking like it was being demolished. After demolishing Al-Sawaber, Entertainment City, Shaab Park, the ice skating rink and many more important buildings, it wasn’t a surprise that the old station was also next on the chopping block. But, turns out that wasn’t the case. KPTC ended up publishing a post stating that the KPTC old bus station is currently under restoration and will soon turn into a museum. Now THAT is surprising, an old beautiful building being repurposed again.

The Al-Baloush bus station was interestingly designed by two Polish architects living in Kuwait back in the 80s, Andrzej Bohdanowicz and Krzysztof Wiśniowski. They both designed the Kuwait Port Authority Complex in Shuwaikh and later the Al-Baloush bus station in 1986.

KPTC also recently finished restoring one of their first busses dating back to 1965 which I’m guessing will be part of the museum display.

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Design

From Mud Design Studio

Aisha Al-Saif, a friend of mine opened up a ceramics design studio last year called From Mud (@frommud) and it recently got featured on ArchDaily. The studio space was designed by Kuwaiti architect Rawan Muqaddas and is located on the first floor of a 1967 Modernist building in Blockat. I was with Aisha when we found the location and I wish I knew where the photos of the space I took were because you wouldn’t recognize it today and would make a great before and after series.

If you want to read more on the design of the space and check out more photos (taken by Mohammed Ashkanani), here is the link.

Categories
Design

Wafra Living

Wafra Living is a new residential complex in Jabriya by AGI Architects that looks out of this world. All the photos look like renderings but the building is real and has already been completed.

The complex was recently featured on the popular website ArchDaily and you can check that article out here. You can also check out more photos of the complex on the photographers website here.

Categories
Design

Al Khalid Complex got a Makeover

Al Khalid Complex has been around for as far as I remember. I’m sure it’s been there since the 60s or 70s. My earliest recollection of it was visiting My Toy back when it used to be there in the early 80s, as well as picking up pastries from a confectionery shop located where Gia currently is. When they started refurbishing the complex I was kinda worried they would ruin it. Thankfully, it didn’t turn out so bad and I’m glad it wasn’t demolished and turned into a mall.

Gia is still there, Anaar and Edo as well. There is also a bakery called Clario and a private dining concept called JADE. From the old school places, Fresh somehow is still there as well as Golden Corner Restaurant which has been there since I was a kid. The only thing that isn’t there anymore is the spaceman mural. That’s gone now sadly.

If you’ve never been to Al Khalid Complex, it’s in Salmiya right off the Gulf Road. Here is the location on Google Maps.

Categories
Design

Kuwait Micro-Apartment Featured in Wallpaper*

A 3 meters wide micro-apartment was just featured in the popular design and lifestyle publication Wallpaper*. The duplex apartment was designed by Studio Madouh and looks pretty cool in the photos. Sadly, there strangely aren’t any photos of the rooms but you can check out some exterior shots and some other interior shots on the Wallpaper* website here.

via @zaydoun

Categories
Design

Sand Dune Inspired Hotel In Kuwait

Buenos Aires and Berlin-based architecture studio Jasper Architects won an international competition to design a hotel located in the middle of the Kuwaiti desert.

The project was inspired by sand dunes and the renderings that have been published look very cool. I’m really curious to where in the desert they’re going to build this since we don’t have sand dunes here, just flat open space.

According to the article, the project is currently in the design phase and is expected to be completed in 2024. For a lot more renderings and details, click here.

Thanks Hind

Categories
Design

Cool Bus Stop Design

This initiative started when a generous donor wanted to serve the community and decided to provide them with a proper bus stop that also included a water fountain. The person approached a design studio called manmade and together they created and installed the bus stop pictured above.

It’s actually a fairly simple and easy to construct design that I wouldn’t mind if it got applied around Kuwait. The one above is located on Salem Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah Street and you can find a bit more info on @meemalessa’s Instagram account.

Categories
Design

Against Stagnation: Kuwait Imagined Otherwise

Kuwait is experiencing a period of stagnation. The landscapes of Kuwait—its patchy downtown, its repetitive suburbs, its flat desert, its Gulf waters—have not been reimagined for decades. There is no societal expectation that these landscapes will or should change. Even simple and sensible improvements remain outside the realm of possibility. We cannot imagine a more green and pedestrian friendly downtown. We cannot imagine suburbs more diverse in building type and resident background. We cannot imagine a less trampled and littered desert, richer in biodiversity and always beautiful. We cannot imagine our water being less polluted and its depths more bountiful. And this deficient imagination of ours is also lacking in the other direction. Given the current economic, environmental, and humanitarian challenges the country is facing, it is baffling why most of us cannot visualize the rapid and disastrous transformations that our urban, rural, and natural landscapes can undergo in the near future. Regardless of the evidence, there seems to be a widespread expectation that things will essentially stay the same. Full Post Link

The excerpt and image above was taken from an interesting post by architect Ali AlYousefi. He’s got a lot more Kuwait imagined images on his blog so make sure you check it out. I also think his posts work really well in parallel with Asseel Al-Ragam’s Simple Fixes tweets like the ones below.

Categories
Design Information

JW Marriott Renovation & Salhiya Expansion

Back in December, I posted about the Japanese restaurant Kei closing down because the hotel was getting renovated. Since then more details have come out on the project as well as renderings of the new facelifted hotel.

  • The hotel’s ground floor will be converted to mall use and become a continuation of Salhiya Complex with a dedicated entrance on Shuhada street. There will be an additional 6 stores on the ground floor and 5 more on the mezzanine.

  • The hotel entrance will still be on the ground floor but the hotel lobby will now be moved up higher into the building, possibly the rooftop.

  • The entire building exterior will be redone. Although I’m a fan of the current retro exterior, the 40-year-old design does look dated and gloomy.

The project is expected to be completed sometime in 2022.

Thanks ChaoticTranquility