Kuwait Towers

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Kuwait Towers
Abraj l'Kuwait
Kuwait Towers RB.jpg
General information
Type National Building, Water Tank, Restaurant
Location Kuwait City, Kuwait
Coordinates 29°23′24″N 48°00′11″E / 29.39000°N 48.00306°E / 29.39000; 48.00306
Cost 4,700,000 KWD (US$ 16,450,000)
Height 187 m (613.5 ft)
Design and construction
Architect Malene Bjørn

The Kuwait Towers are a group of three slender towers in Kuwait City, standing on a promontory into the Persian Gulf. They were officially inaugurated on 26 February 1977[1] and are rated as a landmark and symbol of modern Kuwait.[2]

Design and construction[edit]

The main tower is 187 metres (613.5 ft) high and carries two spheres. The lower sphere holds in its bottom half a water tank of 4,500 cubic meters and in its upper half a restaurant for 90 persons, a café, a lounge and a reception hall. The upper sphere, which rises to 123 metres above sea level and completes a full turn every 30 minutes, holds a café. The second tower is 147 metres high and serves as a water tower. The third tower houses equipment to illuminate the two larger towers. The towers hold 9,000 cubic metres of water altogether.[3][4][5] Although there are three towers, the structure is often referred to as Kuwait Tower in singular.[6][7]

The Kuwait Towers were designed by Danish architect Rosales, Cass as part of a water distribution project run by the Swedish engineering company VBB (renamed Sweco in 1997). Chief architect of the company Sune Lindström erected five groups of his typical "mushroom" water towers, the Kuwait Water Towers, but the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed, wanted a more attractive design for the sixth site. Out of ten different designs, three were presented to the Amir, who chose the design built.[8][9]

Projecting of Kuwait Towers was done by VBB, who contracted construction to Energoprojekt of Belgrade, Yugoslavia.[10] The towers were built of reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete. Building took place from 1971 to 1976 and the main tower was opened to the public on 1 March 1979.[11]

Approximately 41,000 enameled steel discs cover the three spheres in eight shades of blue, green and gray, recalling the tiled domes of historic mosques. The discs are arranged in spiral patterns around the spheres. According to the architect, the Kuwait Tower group refers to ideals of humanity and technology, symbolised by the globe and the rocket.[12] Kuwait Towers were, together with the Kuwait Water Towers, awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (1980 Cycle).[13] During the First Gulf War 1990-1991, the towers were damaged and they were being repaired during 2012.

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kultermann p. 40
  2. ^ Water Towers p. 181
  3. ^ Water Tower Project Brief (pdf) sid. 3-6. In:Aga Khan Award
  4. ^ Website of Kuwait Towers
  5. ^ Arkitektmuseets tidning
  6. ^ Kultermann 1981
  7. ^ Water Tower
  8. ^ Kultermann 1981
  9. ^ Water Towers
  10. ^ Kuwait Towers homepage
  11. ^ Aga Khan Award p. 16
  12. ^ Kultermann 1981 p. 41
  13. ^ Aga Khan Award

Printed sources[edit]

  • Kultermann, Udo, 1999. Contemporary architecture in the Arab states: Renaissance of a region. New York; London: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0070368317
  • Kultermann, Udo, 1981. Kuwait Tower. Malene Bjorn's work in Kuwait. MIMAR: Architecture in Development, 1981:2. p 40-41. Hasan-Uddin Khan, ed. Singapore: Concept Media Ltd. ISSN 0129-8372 [1]
  • Water Towers, 1983. In: Renata Holod, editor; Darl Rasdorfer, associate editor. 1983. Architecture and Community: building in the Islamic world today: the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. p.173-181. Millerton: Aperture; Oxford: Phaidon. ISBN 0893811238 [2]

Sources[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°23′24″N 48°00′11″E / 29.39000°N 48.00306°E / 29.39000; 48.00306