Kuwait, 28 November 2023: In recognition of its outstanding architecture, innovation, and contribution to the regional educational landscape, the Kuwait University (KU) Campus’ Administration Facilities Project at Sabah Al-Salem University City was crowned as a ‘National Winner’ at the prestigious 2023 MEED Projects Awards, in addition to garnering the highly-coveted second place regionally. The multi-awarded mega project won its latest recognitions in the ‘Education and Social Project of the Year’ category.
Having shown outstanding achievements across the various key assessment factors set by MEED’s panel of judges, the University’s Administration Facilities Project was chosen as the top project of the year in Kuwait and amongst the best projects in the region.
Collaborating with leading regional multidisciplinary consultancy firm Pace, KU’s project at the University City in Shadadiyah was designed and executed in line with the highest international benchmarks for quality and excellence. Working side by side with long-term partner SOM – the US-based architectural and engineering design firm – Pace provided a full suite of specialised and integrated architectural, engineering and planning services for the project’s implementation.
Expressing his excitement for winning the awards, Pace CEO, Tarek Shuaib said, “We are honoured that our project continues to receive notable recognition from regional and international awarding organisations such as MEED. The Administration Facilities project at Sabah Al-Salem University City Campus is not only an architectural masterpiece, but is also a major pillar contributing to the transformation of Kuwait’s educational sector”.
The award-winning project involves the construction of six buildings located at the heart of the campus, becoming a new gateway to the ‘University City’, with a total plot area of 55,085 square meters and a total built-up area of 318,867 square meters, Shuaib pointed out.
Designed to serve the needs of students, faculty, administrators, and visitors alike, the facilities include an administrative building, a grand central library, a convocation hall, a grand mosque, a conference centre, a cultural centre, and a visitors’ centre, as well the welcoming gardens. Standing 75 metres above ground level, the central administrative tower houses the supervisory authority for the entire university.
The prime focus of the new facilities project is ‘The Pearl’, a performing arts theatre located in the centre of the main arrivals garden axis, with all project components surrounding its ovoid structure. Within the monumental building is the convocation hall, where the University will hold its graduation ceremony and its other events and celebrations.
Meanwhile, the cultural centre comprises four distinct halls: one designated as a museum showcasing Kuwaiti history, another for hosting public performances, and two additional spaces intended for conferences and the presentation of scientific research. The grand library will feature the latest technologies in the field of digital archiving and references, with innovative technical installations.
“Functionality and beauty merged seamlessly with architectural finesse when designing and implementing this multi-million-dollar mega-project - and we are proud to say that the mashrabiya façade designs were the creative product of Kuwaiti Artist, Farah Behbehani”, Shuaib said. He explained that, “Employing a cohesive architectural style and adopting the ‘Shades of Knowledge’ concept, the facilities project incorporates contemporary design elements using intricate Mashrabiyas to envelop each building. These shading screens are adorned with calligraphy cut-outs arranged in repetitive patterns, creating distinctive designs that blend cultural, visual, and technical elements, all while taking inspiration from the region's traditional architecture”.
With a bright outlook for both current and future projects, Shuaib stated that, “As longstanding and reliable partners in the nation's progress, Pace’s significant accomplishments attest to our ongoing leading position in assisting the government to deliver practical, inventive, contemporary, and globally acclaimed architectural landmarks”.
It serves to note that world-renowned media and business intelligence platform MEED recognises the best engineering industries throughout the MENA region every year with its prestigious awards, with a focus on innovation, sustainability, and overall impact on society.