Wafra Living‘s design by AGi architects proposes an innovative housing organization in Kuwait, a new type of multi-family living as a social response to housing needs in the country. The design is guided by the requirements contemporary life while balancing traditional norms, and reintroduces urban life to the building level.

Project Name: Wafra Living
Type:  Housing | 56,000 sqm – Competition – First Prize
Location: Jabriya, Kuwait
Date: 2021
Client: Wafra Real Estate Co.
Cost: Confidential
Photography: Mohammad Taqi Ashkanani

Awards: – Identity Design Awards 2021 – Shortlisted “Architecture-Residential” category

  • A’Design Awards 2012 – Bronze A’Design Award “Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category – Residential Complex”
  • MIPIM Architectural Review Future Projects Awards 2012 – Commended “Residential”
  • International Property Awards 2011 (IPA) – 5 Stars Award Arabian Residential Property Awards “Architecture – Multiple Residence”
  • World Architecture Festival Awards 2011 (WAF) – Winner “Future Projects – Residential Building”.
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©Mohammad Taqi Ashkanani

Wafra Living is designed as a high-rise building set back from the street, with an L-shaped building defining the street edge. It is conceived to maximize privacy within the community, whilst providing ample natural light and usable indoor and outdoor common spaces. Cuts have been made on the ground floors of the front building to provide better views for the tower apartments.

The complex combines at different levels domestic and collective scales that are both private and public. The architecture defines the edge of the block and creates a series of open spaces within the plot for the community, with various uses. The building cantilevers off the ground to draw street life into the building. The ground floor level opens up to the neighborhood with accessible retail facilities on the street level, integrating into the urban fabric, and links up to a high square through an inclined, stepped garden.

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©Mohammad Taqi Ashkanani

The project is composed of 16 types of living typologies -ranging from two bedroom to four- bedroom duplex- distributed across five cores to cater to a variety of tenants. The project public amenities include multiple gardens, gyms, pools, kids playing areas, squash court, public terraces and community multi-purpose space.

A “High Square” is created. It acts as a large-scale, private communal area for all tenants that includes various landscaped pockets, pools, and access to the gym to enjoy leisure activities in a more private setting.

The building envelope provides a safe environment for the inhabitants, protecting them from the hustle and bustle of the street. From this level, one can see an aluminum mesh: a double skin that climbs the internal facade containing the emergency routes, and conceals the various service spaces that do not relate to the public. Behind the lattice are the five cores, which connect the residential floors.

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©Mohammad Taqi Ashkanani

Passive design techniques and innovative materials are used to maximize thermal insulation and minimize light consumption, also enhancing ventilation of the building, avoiding the “heat-island” effect that occurs in this type of urban development.

With the pandemic, typologies like this one have taken on a renewed interest as they offer a variety of ‘communal’ and public space and how crucial it is to our well-being as a society. Wafra Living is socially driven, environmentally responsive and behavior-conscious. This development has set an example of how to approach urban issues and redefining areas; thereby becoming a catalyst for the city’s future growth.

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©Mohammad Taqi Ashkanani

Team

AGi architects

Main Architects: Nasser B. Abulhasan Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea
Architectural Design Team:
Daniel Muñoz Stefania Rendinelli Bruno Gómez
Lucía Sánchez Salmón José Ángel del Campo Carmen Sagredo Gwenola Kergall Nicolás Martín
Ana López Cerrato Xavier Espinós Pablo López
Nima Haghighatpour Aisha Alsager
Jean Awkar Luis García Hanan Ghaith
Lulwa Al Fudalah Aiysha Alsane Ehsan Rahimi Moyra Montoya Robert Varghese Hanan Alkouh Sharifa Alshalfan Ali Al Yousifi Hessa Al Bader

Lighting Design:  Rafael Gallego: Lara Elbaz
Structural Design: Eugene Torralba

Engineering:
Eugene Torralba Babu Abraham Ibrahim Abu Fayyad
Ahmed Elsaid Nor Eldein Elgebeily
Abdulhafiz Bahi El Din Mohammad Naga Zulfiqar Ahmad khan Haroon Abdulaziz
Abhilash C. Thilakan Naseeba C. Shaj


AGi architects

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

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 70 professionals.

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.

Author

Rethinking The Future (RTF) is a Global Platform for Architecture and Design. RTF through more than 100 countries around the world provides an interactive platform of highest standard acknowledging the projects among creative and influential industry professionals.

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