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Al Hamra Firdous Tower, Kuwait City, Kuwait

Height (Architectural): 412 mHeight (Occupied): 371 mFloors: 80Observation Decks: 371,4 m

The construction of the Al Hamra Firdous Tower started in 2005 and was completed in 2011. The owner of the building, which includes commercial and office spaces, is Al Hamra Real Estate and Entertainment Co. With total GFA 195 000 m2 the building connects to a five-story 23,000 m2 retail mall with integrated theater complex and an 11-story parking. There are Sky Lobbies on 30th and 55th floors, a spa, executive offices on 74-75 floors and Sky Lounge on 78-80 levels with a fine rooftop restaurant.

The author of this fantastic shaped tower is Chicago based eminent Skidmore Owings & Merrill. Architectural and structural design along with MEP engineering was made by SOM. To overcome the molded sculpture of Al Hamra (described by architects as "enshrouded figure") SOM architects decided to use most malleable material for structure - reinforced concrete. The innovative design includes a facade with a 130-degree sweeping turn and two fins that sprout from the top and bottom of the structure in opposite directions. To date it is the tallest sculpted tower in the world and the first skyscraper with a 100% asymmetrical designed exterior. Al Hamra is also the tallest stone clad structure in the world covered with 258,000 square meters of limestone over 80 story tall concrete wall and South facade. The twisting shape ensures optimum views, while the opposite stone clad wall acts a protective skin from the desert sun. Three glass veils on the north, east and west sides of the form are counteracted by a near-opaque stone wall on the south face.

Of their elegant, curling design, SOM explains: "The point at the apex of the tower not only resolves this complex geometry of the carved flared walls but also implies the continuation of the sculptural form infinitely upwards. The result reveals a rich, monolithic stone at the south wall framed by the graceful, twisting ribbons of torqued walls, defining the iconic form of the tower."


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