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Kuwait City, Kuwait
Aborted 2005

The Agenda:
The Sharq International Financial Center is the prime trading address that should reaffirm the nation’s trading heritage and its privileged position on the world’s financial map. The Developer’s vision is expressed in a brief that states a clear ambition for creating an integrated Financial Center with international standards that will become one of the icons of Kuwait.

The Urban Monument:
The Skyline of Kuwait is witnessing sensible transformations as a growing number of new Buildings are being erected in addition to the numerous future developments that are proposed to the City. As it is the case in most major capitals in the Gulf Region, Tall buildings have become a trend and most commonly symbolize the ambitions of the developers that build them. With a skyline becoming increasingly congested by commercially driven architecture, the upcoming City needs its Institutional Landmarks.

Our Scheme for the Sharq International Financial Center expresses the singularity of its content. The Project presents itself to the City as an unmistakable distinct mass, with definite and precise proportions. The monochromatic Cube rests on its elongated pedestal. Its formal abstraction is complimented by the intricacy of the complex geometrical compositions of its facades that evoke the rich cultural heritage of Islamic Art.

The Site:
The Project’s site is located on a major intersection in Kuwait City (in the Sharq quarter) where many new developments are in the works. This section of the City is now considered as one of Kuwait’s major hubs. The area of the land to be developed is 6 000 square meters to which an additional 6 000 square meters of public land is integrated for the construction of a municipal car park that will be linked to the project.

The Components:
The Project integrates the following components:
1.  A Real Estate Exchange Market that comprises Brokerage Offices, a Real Estate
Exhibition Center and a Real Estate Auction center.
2.  An International Markets dealing Room.
3.  Locales for Branches for International banks and financial Institutions.
4.  Office condos for prominent local Companies.
5.  A high end Business Hotel, or high end Business Suites.
6.  A shopping center with retail activities that would compliment the business and
Financial environment of the Development.

The project’s components are distributed as follows:
On the northeastern portion of the site, a multi-storey Municipal Car Park is proposed on seven levels, two of which are located below ground level. The gross area of the Parking structure is 42 000 square meters accommodating 890 cars. An independent vehicular access for the Parking Structure is located on the North western edge of the site. The Municipal Car Park is connected to the Financial Center by an integrated pedestrian entrance to provide ultimate traffic flow into the center of the project where the circulation is evenly re-distributed into the components of the Project.
On the southwestern portion of the site, a three storey Base structure delineates the eastern and south eastern peripheries of the site with a minimal setback on the south western edge of the plot. The proposed base structure is aligned along its connection to the Parking Structure. The main Vehicular Entrance to the project is located on the secondary street that also accesses the Mariott Courtyard Hotel and the Arraya Center. The main gate of the building is aligned with the drop-off of the neighboring Hotel. Pedestrian access can also be provided on the southeastern edge (Shuhada Street) and along the southwestern setback (Jaber al Mubarak Street) along the commercial facades of the development.
As per the Town Planning Regulations effective on the designated site, the maximum allowable footprint of the proposed development should be as follows:
6 000 square meters footprint allocated to the Private Development.
3 000 square meters footprint allocated to the Public Atrium.
6 000 square meters footprint allocated to the Municipal Car Park.
As the total area of the plot is 23 271 square meters and the footprint of all the components of the Project do not exceed 15 000 square meters, we propose to incorporate an open-air Public Plaza located in the center of the Base Structure. The proposed Plaza is 2 825 square meters through a 60 meter diameter circular court that also serves as the main vehicular access and drop-off to the Project. Besides its strategic role in the ultimate circulation flows it offers, the Plaza also implies an exceptional Urban instance that should reflect the institutional ambitions of the Project.
Along the circular periphery of the Plaza, a 17m high, 3 000 square meters Atrium provides a central access to all the components of the Project. In addition to its ultimate and strategic location in the circulation scheme, the Atrium also acts as a natural extension to the Commercial spaces that are located along its peripheries therefore minimizing the impact of circulation on the net exploitable areas.
The Base Structure is built on 3 levels above ground level (Ground Floor + Mezzanine 1 + Mezzanine 2) with a total built-up Area (gross) of 17 800 square meters above ground and two additional parking levels below ground. The Ground Floor of the Base Structure includes the internal Drop-off of the Hotel, the four vertical Circulation Cores of the office towers, and the reference level of the Financial Mall. The activities of the Financial Mall which include the Real Estate Exchange Market, the International Markets Dealing Room and the Commercial branches of Banks and Financial Institutions extend into the two Mezzanine levels above that overlook the Ground Floor through the monumental void of the Atrium.
Above the Base structure, we propose another reference level located at 17m above the street. This new reference level extends on top of the Municipal Car Park to create an exceptional Green Park that serves the Sky Lobby of the Hotel as it also extends into the center of the Project to cover the roof of the Atrium. The Reception of the Hotel along with its Breakfast area, Restaurant and Lounges is located at the base of the northern block of the complex on 1 900 square meters. On the southern end of the Park and facing the Hotel sky lobby, a 2 490 square meters floor plate defines the Office Tower Reference Level that incorporates prime office space for Private Banking and Executive Office Pavilions.
The Office Block is located on the southeastern end of the site, it incorporates the Office Tower Reference Level, 16 Typical Office Floor Plates of 2 490 square meters each, 2 Service Floors of 4 100 square meters each and One Office Hotel Floor of 3 120 square meters that includes a monumental Executive Board Room and additional Executive Corporate Services to be shared by all the tenants of the complex. The Block is accessed and serviced by 4 independent circulation cores. The typical Office floor plates can be sub-divided into 4 equal zones. The floor plates are laid out on 25.4 meters deep plans with a central core for services and circulation on a structural grid of 9.5meters. This proposed layout offers ultimate flexibility in office space planning and partitioning. The Total Built-Up Area of the Office Tower is 45 750 square meters distributed on 20 levels.
The Hotel Block is adjacent to the Office Block aligned to the southern edge of the Municipal Car Park. It incorporates at its base the Lobby along with the Restaurants, Bar, Lounges and Terraces that extend onto the Green Park. The Hotel Tower includes 12 typical floors with a total of 316 keys for standard rooms and suites. Additional levels in the Hotel Tower include 1 administrative Floor, 2 Service Floors for Services and Back of House, A Reception’s Floor that can accommodate banquets for 250 seats along with its Auditorium and finally the SPA level which extends on a complete floor plate with a Gym and Swimming Pool.

2 Underground Parking Levels are placed within the Base of the Building.
The First Basement Level is dedicated to Service Parking allowing for 52 cars and 6 Loading Docks, it has independent service access and exit gates from the street along the northeastern and southeastern edges of the site in order to avoid interference with the public access of the complex.

The Second Basement Level is dedicated to V.I.P Parking for the tenants of the Office Towers, it allows for 108 cars. The V.I.P Parking can only be accessed from the Public Plaza through ramps that are located at the periphery of the central circular court.

The Environmental Awareness:
The Layout of the Project was planned in accordance to thorough Studies of the climatic conditions of its location. Our analysis includes precise diagrams of sun exposures on all orientations and more precisely during the most severe days of the year.
The shading diagrams confirm the Hotel’s ideal orientations as its 2 Longitudinal Facades are protected from direct sunrays.
The interior facades of the Complex (oriented towards the Public Plaza) are shaded on the Eastern and Western orientations by the shading structures that link the Office Block to the Hotel Block.

Effective shading can be provided to the Southern façade of the Office Block by the deep frames of its openings that can act as partial shading devices as this orientation of the site is exposed to vertical rays.