palace1

I love exploring abandoned buildings and from all the abandoned places in Kuwait the one I’ve always wanted to explore was Qasr Al Salam. Its the holy grail of abandoned buildings and the only one I could never get the guts to jump over the fence and explore (luckily I didn’t cuz it turns out there are two guards). After trying to get legal access to the site for what seems like forever, I finally got the approval thanks to Al-Diwan Al-Amiri.

Qasr Al Salam was a guest house that was built back in the 60s and hosted high-ranking visitors. Supposedly the first guest to stay at the palace was the Shah of Iran but I couldn’t find any source online to back that up. Actually, I could find very little information at all on the palace online. I know that Princess Diana and Prince Charles stayed at the palace back in 1989, but I can’t find the date it was built, who the architect was or even pictures. I’ve literally only found a handful of photos of the palace pre-1990 and nothing else. During the 1990 Gulf War the palace was destroyed and it never got restored and has remained abandoned for 24 years. That is until now.

Now some good news, unlike the rumors that have been circulating, the palace will NOT be getting demolished. Instead, the palace is going to be restored to its former glory and be turned into a museum. I saw 3D renderings of how the palace will look like when completed and it’s going to look very similar to the original with some minor facelifting here and there and addition of a new wing or two. The bad news is I can’t share the 3D renderings just yet since I’m still working on trying to convince them to allow me to post them here but right now I can’t.

construction

Whats even more interesting is whats going on right next door at the old flag square. The site is currently under major construction and I also got to see renderings of the project and I was just awestruck. There are four very angular buildings being built, an opera house, a music center, a theatre and a library. The buildings will be made out of titanium shells and will have no pillars at all on the inside. The landscaping around the project is also going to be nothing like anything in Kuwait as well and the best part is they’re expecting to have it all done and completed in just 18 months. Thats a timeframe fit for Dubai. I’m trying to get permission to share the drawings and renderings of this project as well and hopefully I will be able to by next week.

palace2

After getting briefed on the projects above I was taken to the Salam Palace to explore and take photos. The palace even though completely destroyed still had so much beauty left in it. The famous large chandelier that used to hang from the ceiling in the main hall had been dismantled and removed so I didn’t get to see it sadly. But a lot of the original mosaic, wallpaper, carpets and marble floor were still in place. One thing that struck me was the amount of colors used inside the palace and all very tastefully. There was a lot of colored glass everywhere and the mosaic in the main hall was a beautiful metallic purple color. There was a lot of carpeting everywhere but in places where the carpet was removed you could see the beautifully preserved marble floor underneath. It seems at one point in time the palace must have gotten a makeover and a lot of the marble floors were covered up in carpet. I took a lot of photos and I’ve shared them below. I honestly could easily have spent a day in there trying to document every single corner of the place but sadly I didn’t have the luxury of time on my side. I hope you enjoy the photos below and I’ll try my best to get permission to post the renderings next week.