The headquarters of the General Investment Authority by Kew International Consultants is a prestigious 48-storey tower that reflects the dynamism and futuristic outlook of the institution.

Kuwait City, Kuwait

The Kuwait Investment Authority’s KEO International Consultants headquarters tower takes its cues from the traditional shape of dhows, which represents Kuwait’s past heritage while symbolizing its high global presence in the future and sets a new standard for the development of tall buildings in the Middle East.

Combining traditional architectural elements with contemporary architectural practices, the KIA headquarters were recently awarded the 2022 International Architecture Prize by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Center for Architecture and Urban Studies.

The tower consists of four office courtyards with eight floors each and an executive office space of six floors.

This central space brings a sense of focus and distinction to each office floor while maintaining structural harmony and creating a unifying unity.

The facade of the tower, based on the traditional mashrabiya, is not only eye-catching but also environmentally friendly.

It acts as a screening mechanism to reduce the window opening on the western and southern facades to protect the building from intense sunlight while increasing the window opening on the eastern and northern facades allowing more natural light to enter the building.

This dynamic facade changes depending on the directional orientation and levels of the tower.

The headquarters of the General Investment Authority

During design development, KEO focused on delivering the latest electrical systems, with continuous value engineering aimed at improving system performance and reducing energy consumption.

The project focuses on sustainability, safety and comfort. Best practice techniques are used during the design process, which includes lighting design using the latest technology with IESNA as a reference standard.

Coordination with other disciplines, a holistic approach, and implementation of best design practices ensure that electrical work is best in class.

In terms of life safety and security, the designed systems have exceeded NFPA, KFD and Department of Home Affairs requirements.

The headquarters of the General Investment Authority

The fire command center was provided with full surveillance capabilities. Security is carefully taken care of, and all public areas are fully equipped with HD IP based cameras.

Facade lighting uses LED technologies and creates a sense of warmth and liveliness. The heat controls inside the building, along with soothing artificial and natural lighting, provide a relaxing experience for visitors.

The building’s distinctive exterior is designed to block out potentially harmful sunlight. It provides privacy from outsiders looking inside and can be converted into a facade mechanism that controls the window opening depending on the direction of the facade.

The headquarters of the General Investment Authority

All components of the building, including the facade and structural elements, are planned on a one-meter vertical and horizontal grid, while the courtyard forms the central connecting element, as in most buildings in the Islamic world.

A recess under the raised floor is used for all building service functions. This allows for complete flexibility and accessibility throughout the building.

Basic electromechanical building services are designed into accessible columns, recesses, and ceiling spaces to allow full access for maintenance without interrupting office functions.

Uniquely designed to serve as an underground air distribution/displacement ventilation system, the uniquely designed HVAC system has been created in line with the latest technological advances.

The office tower is a 48 square storey building with an area of ​​48 m by 48 m, with internal atria of different heights and levels. Structural spans vary up to 16 metres. The floor system consists of 240 mm thick molded in-situ post-tensioned panels supported by post-tensioned beams at 8m posts.

The headquarters of the General Investment Authority

Project: The headquarters of the General Investment Authority
Architects: KEO International Consultants
General Contractor: The First United Company for General Trading and Contracting.
Client: Kuwait Investment Authority
Photographers: Muhammad Taqi Ashkanani

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