Work has started on the new Capital Markets Authority Headquarters, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, in collaboration with KEO International Consultants. The project, won through an international design competition, grew from CMA’s core values of collaboration, transparency and innovation.
The 46-storey (240m) headquarters will create a dynamic new landmark for Kuwait City. The tapering octagonal form of the tower emerges from the irregular shape of the site in a blend of geometry and sculpture.
At the base, the façade pulls away from the edge of the building in a twisting, tent-like configuration. This establishes a transitional space between external and internal spaces, providing a protective canopy for visitors. The canopy rises at key points to create access for vehicles and pedestrians as well offering separate VIP entrances and views to landscaped areas.
The imposing entrance lobby features the polished and highly sculptural form of the main auditorium, creating a unique identity for the headquarters, mirrored at the pinnacle of the tower with the curved form of the main VIP hall, meeting hall and diwaniya.
The headquarters includes offices for an average of 1,000 employees, with the associated amenities, including automated parking, cafeteria, prayer rooms and private VIP entrance. Office floors are flexible to allow the addition of private offices or meetings rooms as needed. In response to the changing nature of the workplace, amenities encourage social interaction and provide different working environments. Atria on the north of the building connect multiple floors, allow visual and physical connections across departments and support employee well-being.
Externally, the highly articulated façade provides a sense of strength and solidity; three-dimensional fins allow high levels of internal daylight whilst minimizing solar gain and sand accumulation. Following passive design principles, the south façade has the most solidity, whilst the north becomes more transparent, opening the interior towards views of the harbour and the sea.
The responsive façade skin, combined with the position of the offset core on the southern edge of the tower, reduces the potential for glare and solar gain, to optimise the wellbeing, health and productivity of office workers. The lighting and interior design will also prioritize the wellbeing of the employees, whilst promoting sustainability with efficient engineering and lighting systems.
Once completed, the building will achieve LEED v4.0 Silver Certification. Building on the passive design principles, sustainable engineering systems include low energy consumption light fixtures, water reduction by more than 40% and advanced energy and water metering to enhance indoor environmental quality while optimizing building energy utilization during operation.
A unique engineering feature of the building is the fully automated car parking system for 800 vehicles, which utilises 14 electric platforms to transfer cars entering the project with incredible speed to eight underground levels. Priority is given to charging facilities for electric vehicles.
Mustafa Chehabeddine, Principal, Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates:
“The Sculptural form of the CMA Headquarters will create a new landmark for Kuwait City. We used environmental modelling to create a façade that reflects the Capital Markets Authority’s commitment to collaboration, transparency and innovation, whilst also ensuring a comfortable workplace for the building’s users and high levels of energy efficiency.”