TOPOTEK 1 to design Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences

TOPOTEK 1 to design Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences
Published: 4 April 2019 - 7:37 a.m.
By: Michael Hasenstab

TOPOTEK 1 has won the international competition to design the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, which aims for completion by 2023.

Situated between a parkland and seaport, the complex is designed to carefully integrate into the existing environment, and is characterised by a distinctive typology that merges two low-rise buildings with a park landscape. This fosters a "cohesive visual dialogue with the surroundings", said the architects.

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TOPOTEK 1's design is inspired by the use of patios and oases, and adapts traditional building strategies to minimise direct sunlight while enjoying the benefits of natural light within the structures.

The buildings are perforated by a series of horizontal and vertical geometric voids of different shapes and sizes in the facade, roof and interior, creating a series of "inner landscapes", which unfold as visitors walk through.

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The 18m three-storey headquarters building is suspended on columns above an open public space. According to the architects, it "offers respect to the adjacent high-rise 1960s building, complementing its form and appeal."

The facade of the headquarters building is perforated by three deeply-recessed niches, the largest of which features an expansive glass terrace facing the harbour.

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The second building houses the conference centre, and features a simple cubic form that spans 12-stories and an intricate, multifaceted interior that accommodates a modular workplace. Passing beneath the structure is an open space that offers views of the nearby beach and sea.

Connecting the conference centre and the headquarters building is a lush green corridor, which runs along the existing seaside promenade and continues along the harbour.

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"Imagined as a 'harmonious extension of the northern coastal promenade,' the park embodies the existing landscape design’s rhythm of palm trees and small hills," said the architects.

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