Al Sahoud Mall, Salmiya Kuwait

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Salmiya District Master Plan

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BDP is creating a sustainable masterplan for Salmiya district to keep it car-friendly, but also flexible for future growth.  It includes more strategic siting of new public works such as schools, universities and hospitals in relation to residential zones.  It also offers better all-round pedestrian access to Salmiya’s shops and civic amenities.

Brief

  • transport and planning framework masterplan for the existing urbanised area of 20 sq km Salmiya district of Kuwait City
  • infrastructure, planning and design guidelines to enable transformation of the district over the next 15 years

Results

  • the masterplan works in harmony with the third Kuwait masterplan known as 3KMP, which is an umbrella development strategy for the whole of Kuwait, designed to help cope with the intensive economic and population growth anticipated in the region over the next 20 years
  • successful collaboration with local consultants OBD

 

Image Credit: BDP

New Kuwait International Airport by Foster and Partners

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Internationally practicing London-based firm Foster + Partners has revealed the design for the ‘Kuwait International Airport’, an air hub for the gulf region located in Kuwait. The trefoil plan will accommodate the projected increased influx of transient visitors, growing from an initial 13 million individuals to over 25 million per year with future development and eventually accommodating 50 million annual travelers.

The state-of-the-art terminal building intends to provide ultimate comfort despite its positioning within the arid desert amidst one of the hottest habitable climates on earth. gates extend from a 25 meter high central atrium and are distributed between three symmetrical wings which reach a span of 1.2 kilometers.The linear arrangement contains three levels programmed for arrivals, departures and baggage claim with minimal vertical changes produces a user friendly organization.

Cobra Tower or Burj Cobra, Kuwait

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Cobra Tower or Burj Cobra is a concept generated by a CGI firm. I wonder if they could have put an Arabic for Cobra or possibly an alternate for Cobra, so that the name actually melts with the culture of Kuwait.  But then that is me saying 🙂

Presumably their facebook page

I would appreciate any and more information.

 

Arabic museum in Paris gets a new look for 25-year anniversary

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The Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris unveils its revamped exhibition space

The Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, which has just turned 25, has completely revamped its interior design and contents. Having previously concentrated on Islamic art, from now on the institute will also explore the pre-Islamic past of Arab countries, highlighting the diversity of cultures, languages, beliefs and ways of life that have coexisted in the Arabian peninsula and Africa for thousands of years.

“This change involved a new chronological approach,” says Marie Foissy, the senior curator who led the reorganisation, “because, historically, the Arab identity coalesced before the arrival of Islam. We have tried to link it to the prehistoric cultures that preceded it and the civilisations that followed: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persia, Greece, Rome and Byzantium.”

The oldest item on show was found at the neolithic site at Ain Ghazal in Jordan. This tiny (10cm-high) clay figure of a mother goddess, a universal symbol of fertility with her rounded belly, is a descendant of France’s Lespugue Venus, which is 25,000 years old.

The change of atmosphere is immediately apparent on entering the museum, passing through a long gallery brought to life by scenes of busy streets and markets, with a barely audible buzz of sound mixing various languages and dialects – Arabic, Berber, Turkmen, Kurdish, Aramaic, Assyrian.

Among the most remarkable items, a series of alabaster heads opens the visit. They are the faces on funerary pillars from the second and third century before our era, found in southern Arabia (now Yemen). They are on loan from the Dubroff family collection, a marvellous stand-in for pieces promised by Yemen but held back by the country’s current political turmoil.

The Arabia of legend, with its oases ruling over a land criss-crossed by countless caravans, owed its prosperity to trade in incense and myrrh. The precious alabaster figures suggest a very real link to the Suffering Man, from northern Arabia some 3,000 years earlier, which was the centrepiece of the Louvre Roads to Arabia exhibition.

The institute set up a special working group of archaeologists, historians, curators, anthropologists, ethnologists and linguists, headed by Foissy, to think of ways of addressing Arabia’s multiple facets. “The visit is a tale, a story unfolding, intended to make visitors feel at home with the message of civilisation enshrined in the various communities which make up the Arab world,” she explains.

It was decided to mix exhibits, with themes overlapping in space to illustrate the timeless quality of the spiritual quest. Certainly as the visit progresses there are some striking similarities: the Torah, Bible and Qur’an presented side by side, from the 12th and 14th century, are the same size and use the same materials: paper, gouache and gold.

All the rituals involve light to uplift prayer and purify worship: an eight-branched Kabylian chandelier made of painted terracotta stands beside a bronze Christian oil-lamp from Syria, a Copt light, a limestone cup from Carthage and a Hanukkah lamp, endlessly commemorating the rededication of the (second) temple in Jerusalem.

After this idealised, ecumenical vision of the pre-Islamic Arab world, the exhibition continues with a section devoted to daily life, from the sixth century to the present day. A new chapter, on the ongoing revolutions in the Arab world, has yet to be written.

This article originally appeared in Le Monde