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Al Hamra Tower, the tallest sculpted tower in the world

Al Hamra Firdous Tower, one of the best creations by Skidmore, Owings & Merril (SOM), is one of the tallest towers in Kuwait City. It is a commercial complex comprising health clubs, offices, and high-end shopping mall with food court and theatre. The iconic structure appears to fold into itself, designed so as to create maximum views and minimize solar heat gain. Standing tall at 412 meters at the centre of Kuwait City, the tower is a landmark tower offering breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf.

The tower is basically aimed at minimizing solar heat gain on the office floors, which also maximizing views. A rich monolithic stone at the south wall is framed by the graceful twisting ribbons of torque walls, defining the iconic form of the tower. The building resembles a subtle, elegant modern sculpture or an enshrouded figure, with its glass veil reflecting the profile of the peninsula. The south wall is done so as to minimize the solar radiation.

The geometry of the interior wall is generated and responds to the need to minimize solar heat gain. The wall, apart from protecting the building from harsh weather conditions, also plays the role of structural spine of the building. The point at the apex of the tower not only resolves the complex geometry of the carved flared walls, but also implies the continuation of sculptural form upwards. Every floor has a sky-bridge connecting two wings and presenting a dramatic spatial experience with deep sculpted windows in the south wall offering dramatic views south, towards the city, the peninsula and infinite desert beyond.

The tower, with its 20-metre tall lobby, featuring high articulated lamella structure, supporting the tower above, articulates space below. The geometry of the lobby area is generated by applying the principles of lamella structure. The structure provides continuity from the building, to its footing, acting as a strengthening component, while also being completely integrated with the structure.

The tower, apart from offering 10,50,000 square feet of commercial space, also has a five-storey retail mall, spread across 250,000 square feet of space, including the 10-screen cinema complex and IMAX theatres and eleven storey car park. The tower will also include a food court and a health club.

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