Wafra Beacon
Gijo Paul George

Wafra Beacon

Studio Toggle Architects as Architects

Wafra Beacon is a competition-winning proposal for a food and beverage mall development for the Sabah Al Ahmed Sea City area in Kuwait. The proposal transcends the barriers of traditional F&B developments in the region.

The project scope includes two rectangular plots facing a public square anchored by a mosque. Each plot contains a sectional podium housing independent multi-level restaurants and a multi-use tower.

The Beacon is designed to be the destination of choice for the trendiest concepts in the Kuwait culinary scene while doubling up as the hub for a healthy and active beach lifestyle. Departing from the notion of a traditional F & B Mall, the design seeks to function as an Oasis for the young, active and creative demographic inhabiting the surrounding areas and visiting for the weekends.

The architectural language follows a strict philosophy aimed to optimise its environmental response to the extreme weather conditions prevalent in Kuwait. Passive strategies like green walls, optimized shading through sculpted massing, etc were deployed extensively, generating a new micro-climate.

Through studied application of bio-climatic strategies, we used the actual site conditions to improve the thermal comfort of the users by lowering the ambient temperature as well as humidifying the surroundings and facilitating evaporative cooling and natural ventilation. These sustainable practices helped enhance the building value, decrease running costs while improving the spatial qualities of the building.

The tower is divided into alternating levels that are partially and fully enclosed. The partially enclosed levels are screened by a mono-chromatic 'Mashrabiya' inspired skin composed of graded ceramic rods. The rhythmic repetition of voids manifests as open patios and non-enclosed floor levels and foments a dialogue between the interior and exterior spaces. The alternating floors house the gym and spa facilities with their embedded open spaces.


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