Wafra Vertical Housing, Wind Tower Kuwait, Salmiya Building Design, Architecture Photos, Architect

Wafra Wind Tower by AGi architects in Salmiya, Kuwait City

2 June 2022

Wafra Wind Tower by AGi architects, among the 20 shortlisted projects for the 2022 Aga Khan Award for Architecture

Design: AGi architects

Location: Salmiya Area, Block-4, Plot-7, Kuwait City

Photos below by Aga Khan Trust for Culture / Cemal Emden (photographer)

Wafra Wind Tower Salmiya, Kuwait City

Wind Tower Salmiya, Kuwait City

Kuwait, 2nd of June 2022 – The residential building designed by AGi architects in Kuwait, Wafra Wind Tower, is one of the 20 finalists for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture 2022, as announced by the organization today.

Wafra Wind Tower Salmiya, Kuwait City

In February, an independent Master Jury, made up of nine renowned architects and artists, reviewed hundreds of nominations. The 20 shortlisted projects have undergone rigorous investigations by a team of experts who visited and evaluated each project on-site. Their reports are the basis for the Master Jury’s selection of the eventual laureates.

Wafra Wind Tower Salmiya, Kuwait City

Architecture that reflects the pluralism that has characterised Muslim societies and communities around the world is encouraged, as eligible projects must be designed for or used by Muslims, in part or in whole, wherever they are located.

Wafra Wind Tower Salmiya, Kuwait City

“It’s a great honour to be shortlisted for the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. Our practice is rooted primarily within Muslim communities, where we seek an understanding between tradition and contemporary lifestyle without losing sight of our essence.”, said Nasser Abulhasan, Founding Partner and Principal of AGi architects.

Wafra Wind Tower Salmiya, Kuwait City

Wafra Wind Tower, first approach to a new concept of urban living in Kuwait

AGi architects participated in an ambitious research project that explores the lifestyle of Kuwaiti society, with the aim of finding alternative approaches to housing in Kuwait, that are socially relevant, culturally grounded and contextually driven. Wind Tower is the result of this exhaustive analysis, and represents one of approaches of the design firm in this sense, which was later followed by other developments such as Wafra Living. Spaces of Living, Urban Reflections Of Kuwaiti Society, a publication about this ongoing research will published at the end of 2022.

Wind Tower introduces a new concept to urban living, a new type of multi-family living that was lacking in Kuwait as a social response to Kuwait’s housing crisis. It was socially driven, environmentally responsive and behavior-conscious.

The design was guided by the requirements contemporary life while balancing traditional norms. Wind Tower provided public and communal areas and amenities by reintroducing urban life to the building level while also preserving privacy. AGi architects’ main aim was not to impose a new way of living completely detached from Kuwaiti society, but rather a transformation from the past that is translated into a vertical neighborhood.

Wafra Wind Tower Salmiya, Kuwait City Wafra Wind Tower Salmiya, Kuwait City

Understanding and reinterpreting local environmental techniques is one of the main targets of Wind Tower. The services core of the building is thus located on the southern wing, in order to minimize sun exposure and consequently reduce energy consumption – acting as a thermal barrier to the rest of the building. Hence, minimum openings are placed on the aforementioned façade, while on the other hand the building opens to the North, facing the sea and enjoying its privileged views.

Wafra Wind Tower Salmiya, Kuwait City

Optimal opportunities for natural lighting and cross ventilation also become an essential driving force for the design, which give the tower its character and determine its final orientation. Taking the idea of the traditional courtyard typology and developing it volumetrically, the initial concept flourishes in the form of the tower. The courtyard is no longer constrained to the core of the building; instead, it borrows light and ventilation from the facade, funnels it through the pool area and flows through all levels finding its way out through the opposite façade.

Wind Tower offers a different type of living, and its strategies are now being codified in Kuwait’s New Building Code. With the pandemic, this type of development has taken on a renewed interest as it offers a variety of ‘communal’ and public space and how crucial it is to our well-being as a society.

Wafra Wind Tower Salmiya, Kuwait City

Aga Khan Award for Architecture

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture (AKAA) is given every three years to projects that set new standards of excellence in architecture, planning practices, historic preservation and landscape architecture. Through its efforts, the Award seeks to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully address the needs and aspirations of societies across the world, in which Muslims have a significant presence.

Photos below by AGi architects

Wafra Wind Tower by AGi architects in Salmiya

The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was established by the Aga Khan in 1977, and its mandate is different from that of many other architecture prizes: it selects projects – from slum upgrading to high-rise “green” buildings – that not only exhibit architectural excellence but also improve the overall quality of life. The Award not only rewards architects, but also identifies municipalities, builders, clients, master artisans and engineers who have played important roles in the realization of a project.

Wafra Wind Tower by AGi architects in Salmiya

AGi architects

The international design firm AGi architects was founded by two architects educated at Harvard University, Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea and Nasser B. Abulhasan.

Wafra Wind Tower by AGi architects in Salmiya

With a prominent international character and a multidisciplinary focus, AGi architects offers a professional service emphasizing quality, creativity and exclusive design. AGi has a vision to create environments that create a lasting value for clients through distinctive and imaginative solutions. At present, the studio has offices in Kuwait and Madrid, with a team comprised of more than 50 professionals.

Wafra Wind Tower by AGi architects in Salmiya

The studio’s architecture is based on four founding pillars: innovation, an inherent life component, ecological and social interventions and research. AGi architects provides comprehensive services in architecture, interior design and urban planning.

AGi architects has been recognized with more than 40 international awards such as: Lafarge Holcim Awards, WAF Awards, Middle East Architect Awards, MIPIM Architectural Review, Identity Design Awards and Cityscape Awards, amongst other prizes.

Wind Tower Salmiya Building

Wind Tower Salmiya Kuwait – Building Information

Project Name: Wind Tower
Type: Housing | 6,500 sqm
Location: Salmiya, Kuwait
Date: 2014-17
Client: Wafra Real Estate Co.
Cost: Confidential

Photography: AGi architects / Fernando Guerra FG+SG

Previously on e-architect:

Wind Tower Salmiya, Kuwait City
Design: AGi architects

Wind Tower Salmiya Building

Wind Tower Salmiya

Wind Tower Salmiya Shortlisted at WAF 2018 – World Architecture Festival 2018 Awards

Wind Tower in Salmiya is one of 536 shortlisted entries across 81 countries:

World Architecture Festival Awards 2018 Shortlist

Wind Tower Salmiya Building images / information received from AGi architects

AGi architects on e-architect

Location: Salmiya Area, Block-4, Plot-7, Kuwait, Persian Gulf, the Middle East, Asia

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