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The Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre in Kuwait has been shortlisted as a finalist for Public Building of the Year for the upcoming ABB LEAF Awards 2017. All shortlisted projects will be represented at a gala awards ceremony on 21 September at the Royal Horseguards Hotel, in London.
The complex, a new museum district for the city of Kuwait, is a celebration of mankind’s scientific and cultural achievements. The museums celebrate Kuwaiti, Islamic and Arab culture and history. They will also embrace and showcase the rich diversity of the world’s finest cultural achievements.
The project is due to be completed by the end of this year and will consist of six main buildings: A Natural History Museum; Science Museum; Museum of Islamic History; Space Museum; Fine Arts Centre; and a Theatre.
Each museum building will contain an array of permanent and temporary world-class exhibits and artworks. Walking through the cultural district beneath the canopy of the street is a journey full of surprises, with stunning views deep into the heart of the museums where visitors will see framed vistas of priceless exhibits.
Kuwaiti architecture is represented by the main ‘street’, which meanders and echoes the traditional ‘Ferej’. This creates exciting spaces, Islamic patterns, corners and walkways, mirroring the experience of walking down a traditional, busy Kuwaiti street.
The museum buildings and the circulation between them are shaded and partially climatically controlled using a solar shade canopy, which is 200 m long with cantilevers of 30 m. The structure was inverted to allow the installation of 2,000 LED-lit shingles, which were parametrically designed and DMX controller-linked to provide evening light shows and daytime shade.
The material chosen by SSH for the exterior cladding and roof paving of the complex was also carefully selected. The approved stone, named Skyline, is a true marble from Turkey with a clearly defined vein orientation in the quarry strata. Skyline has all the technical and aesthetic characteristics to meet the stringent requirements of the project.
SSH was appointed as lead architecture and engineering designer on the complex.
The annual LEAF (Leading European Architecture Forum) Awards brings together an audience of more than 100 leading senior figures from the world’s elite architectural design community. They will convene to celebrate, discuss and honour some of the best new international architectural projects, according to their specific criteria.
The LEAF Awards has been running for more than 16 years and all shortlisted and winning projects are recognised as setting the benchmark for the future of the industry.