Twin towers in Kuwait showcase geometric Arabic design
Two mixed-used towers in Kuwait City showcase striking Arabian carved wood latticework, effortlessly combining traditional design with a modern cityscape. Developed by Gensler for Burj Alshaya, one tower is a Four Seasons hotel with interiors by Canadian architects George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg, while the other contains office headquarters for retail heavyweight Alshaya. In the past, Gensler has created highly-celebrated projects in the hospitality sector. Notably, they designed the interiors for the Four Seasons in downtown New York.“We created a landmark that delivers the functional requirement with an interpretation of local vernacular culture in a contemporary manner—serving guests with care and pride, while echoing Alshaya’s philosophy and the Four Seasons brand,” states Gensler’s global hospitality leader Tom Lindblom.
In designing the buildings, Gensler had the difficult task of juggling the companies’ brands with the local environment. The project aims to celebrate its rich context, while addressing the solar radiation and high ambient temperatures in Kuwait. The design takes heavy inspiration from the traditional mashrabiya shading in local architecture, translating to it a contemporary context. The mashrabiya motif continues throughout its interiors. The carpets, screens, surface treatments and the suspended ceilings of a ballroom all boast the tessellating pattern, unifying the hotel.
The facade’s modulated aluminium and delicate carvings offer significant solar control, air circulation and privacy. Additionally, the geometry of the wood shading fins covers is strikingly eye-catching and elegant, visually distinct but complementary to its neighbours. The new 250-room Four Seasons Hotel will occupy 22 storeys of the smaller tower. It will encompass 284 rooms and suits, restaurants. two ballrooms, a pool, spa and terraces.