Al Sharq wins second award

Kuwaiti office complex to have environmentally friendly design.

NEWS, Design

Kuwait's Atkins-designed Al Sharq office complex has been awarded the CNBC Arabian Property Award for high-rise architecture, for its unusual design and commitment to sustainability. Commenting on the award Nicholas Bailey, head of concept architecture at Atkins Middle East in Bahrain said: "Al Sharq is the way forward in terms of defining a new architecture for Kuwait and we are delighted to be recognised in this way for such an exciting and prestigious project."

This is the second prize to be awarded to Atkins Middle East for its design concept, following the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Award it received in March. The concept follows an active and passive programme towards sustainability, using photovoltaic panels to create renewable energy along with a shallow plan office floor plate to reduce the amount of artificial lighting.

"The shallow plan office floor means natural light can penetrate most of the office space through the facade. This saves enormous amounts of energy that would otherwise be required for artificial lighting and it creates a more productive office environment," explained Carmy Wong, an architect for Atkins.

"There is also a design effort to provide sky gardens and planting strips on the facade every few floors to mediate the desert heat, hence reducing air conditioning as well as providing a refuge for the occupants from the indoor environment," she added. Photovoltaic panels on the southwest and northeast faÃcades will act as sunscreens and provide energy through converted solar power.

An interior designer has not yet been assigned but Wong explained that the interior should echo the architecture: "The interior should take full advantage of the naturally-lit environment and advantageous views over the streetscape of the city and the gardens. The indoor and outdoor should not be seen as separate but to be incorporated as a unified experience of being part of the external environment. The interior should be seen as part of our holistic approach to sustainability by keeping out the heat but not the light."

The 180m tower will cover an area of 56,400 m² and is conceived as a pair of parallel blades with office space hanging from them. It will combine work and leisure facilities including office space, restaurants, shops, an executive gym, spa and swimming pool.

The CNBC Arabian Property Award will be presented in October in Dubai.

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