SSH, a leading masterplanning, infrastructure and project management company in the region, is currently delivering design services for Boubyan Bank’s new headquarters building in Kuwait.
SSH is involved in the prestigious project in association with US-headquartered global architectural firm Perkins Eastman.
To be built on a 3,960-sq-m strategically located plot in the heart of Kuwait City, the building has been designed to be a symbolic icon that introduces the world to Kuwait’s vibrant culture, thereby achieving Boubyan Bank’s mission: ‘Excellence beyond finances’, says Tarek Mneimneh – Senior Project Manager at the Kuwait headquartered SSH.
“Apart from investing in a project that accommodates its potential growth, the client is also looking to create a high-class landmark development with a definite edge over potential future neighbouring developments, giving it a realty advantage,” he says.
The design concept was inspired by Boubyan Bank’s logo and aims to establish a formal relationship between the two arcs seen in the logo and the building itself. The development offers the bank the opportunity to utilise technology in banking, real estate and investments, while benefiting from spacious offices, convention halls, and other large public spaces.
“The design reflects the client’s requirements by providing a fully-furnished office tower that combines maximum floor efficiency and a breathtaking design concept,” says Mneimneh.
SSH reviewed all applicable local codes to provide the maximum built-up area of more than 75,000 sq m, once complete.
Al Salam Palace ... an award-winning project.
SSH holds credit for several landmarks in Kuwait. One of its key projects, Al Salam Palace, has been selected as the national winner for Kuwait in the Social, Cultural & Heritage Project of the Year category of the 2020 MEED Projects Awards.
The magnificent and luxurious Al Salam Palace was initially built in the 1960s as an official guesthouse for Kuwait’s top VIP visitors, in addition to a place to hold official and international conferences and meetings. It continued to receive Kuwait’s guests until it was severely damaged, and its content stolen during the Iraq invasion in 1990. The palace stayed abandoned until 2013, when it was proposed to restore the historic structure and turn it into a museum, celebrating 300 years of Kuwait’s historical past, says SSH.
The challenge of the redesign was to incorporate contemporary architectural elements that would meet 21st Century requirements while simultaneously preserving and incorporating the palace’s historical character into one harmonious vision, it states.
However, the SSH design team successfully achieved this by analysing the unique elements of the existing building, conserving those elements and inserting contemporary architectural elements that would all work symbiotically and complement one another.
Visitors now have the chance to follow in the footsteps of heads of states and VIPs as they journey through nine recreated palatial rooms and galleries. The restored palace borders the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre, forming part of Kuwait’s vibrant new cultural district, it added.
Khalil Alonaizi, the Resident Director at SSH, Kuwait, says: “Al Salam Palace is one of the most historically iconic architectural landmarks in Kuwait and, as such, holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Kuwaitis.”
“SSH’s vision for the project was to bring 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.”
Al Salam Palace will now compete with its Gulf rivals for the top spot at the 2020 Meed Projects Awards, being held in association with Mashreq.