Architecture firm SSH has completed the restoration and transformation of Al Salam Palace in Kuwait into a new museum that tells the history of the country through its 15 rulers.
The firm was appointed as lead design and construction supervision consultant, collaborating with Studio MB to design the exhibits featured in the new museum.
“SSH has played an important role in the redevelopment of Al Salam Palace, knowing what this historic landmark represents for Kuwait and its people,” said Khalil Alonaizi, resident director – Kuwait at SSH. “We are proud to have taken part in bringing this building of cultural significance back to life, giving it new purpose as well as making it a source of education and enjoyment for future generations of Kuwaitis and visitors to the country.”
The redesign of the palace retains its original historical character while incorporating modern elements into its refurbishment, including the addition of a new visitor’s centre. The Palace Garden has also been carefully restored allowing access for visitors to tour the grounds.
“The Palace comes with considerable historical character built-in,” said Simon Dennison, design director at SSH. “The design has allowed the restored building to remain dominant, while the character has been augmented with modern new additions. A positive balance has been struck between extracting maximum value out of a very complex existing building and creating new contemporary additions, while still retaining the overwhelmingly historic feel of the whole.”
He added: “The new additions complement the existing building both functionally and aesthetically, creating visible elements around the site to advertise its new purpose and highlight the entrances. As in the past, the arrival experience is very important as this forms the start of your journey into and through the museum. Creating an entrance in the basement was a key decision to control the general public and school children while maintaining a clear and unobstructed main entrance.”
Inaugurated by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, Al Salam Palace will open its doors to visitors in October 2019.