Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre wins “Oscar of Museums” award
Competing against 38 cultural destinations across the world, the Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre (ASCC) in Kuwait has won the Museum Oscar at the 2021 Leading Cultural Destination Awards in Berlin. Organisers said the award recognises Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre as a cultural icon of innovation with unique experiences that serves as a leading destination for local communities and tourists.
The Amiri Diwan of Kuwait had a vision to elevate the country’s cultural landscape to not only showcase Kuwaiti culture and highlight its heritage, but also to become a regional and international beacon for cultural activities and events. The capital city’s national cultural district is the culmination of this vision, with ASCC playing a significant role. The museum district is a celebration of the rich diversity of humanity’s scientific and cultural achievements, with the scale, shapes, and shades of ASCC’s buildings designed to convey a sense of wonder and awe. The centre also honours Kuwaiti, Islamic and Arab culture and history.
ASCC occupies a total of 127,000 sqm and offers parking for 1,1231 cars. The development comprises eight buildings which include six museums, a conference hall and a documents facility. Altogether, the buildings house 22 display halls with more than 1,000 pieces of relics and unique items.
The museum district consists of six main buildings:
- Natural History Museum
- Science Museum
- Museum of Islamic History
- Space Museum
- Fine Arts Centre
Each building contains an array of permanent and temporary world-class exhibits and artworks. Walking through the cultural district beneath the canopy of the street leads to a journey full of surprises, with stunning views deep into the heart of the museums where visitors can see framed vistas of priceless exhibits. One exhibition enlightens visitors about the natural world for better comprehension of ecosystems, visitors can also test their skills in the exhibition’s interactive displays.
Kuwaiti architecture is represented by the main ‘street’, echoing the traditional ‘Ferej’. This creates exciting spaces, Islamic patterns, corners and walkways that mirror the experience of walking down a traditional, busy Kuwaiti street.
The centre was built in just 20 months and since its televised inauguration in 2018, it has hosted local and international events in addition to specialised conferences and exhibitions. SSH is proud to be the Lead Architect and Engineering Designer for this project.