Integrating nature is one of the axes guiding AGi architects’ proposal for Sama’a Wafra, a high-rise residential complex located in Hessa Al Mubarak, which will be Kuwait’s first mixed-use district. In December 2018 we responded to an international competition by invitation for the design of the new building. AGi architects, which is currently developing other housing complexes in Kuwait such as Wafra Living or Fawsec Campus, participated with the premise of generating a well-designed place to live. The focus was on well-being through vegetation, filtered natural light, views and privacy.
Character and well-being in Sama’a Wafra
Sama’a Wafra is located in the new Hessa Al Mubarak district, with direct views to the Arabian Gulf. It is situated next to an urban green space and offers a pedestrian connection to the beach. In a first architectural operation, starting from the existing natural conditions, the project seeks to establish a sense of identification with the place through the visual opening towards the sea. This premise gives rise to the general shape of the complex, formed by a podium and two towers. The towers are designed to open up to the views. They are shifted one with respect to the other, so that all the dwellings face the sea.
Secondly, the goal is to create a human scale within the urban scale of the whole. For this purpose, the podium is perforated in the interior and terraces are created in the front. These perforations or patios allow the introduction of filtered natural light and create microclimates, as they combine with vegetation. In the lower part, private and public gardens are designed with sheets of water and swimming pools that encourage cooler temperatures. In the towers, the façade is designed for the growth of climbing plants. Residents can control the type and density of vegetation in their homes. In this way they regulate the shade and privacy of their spaces.
On the other hand, Sama’a Wafra has an excellent location in terms of connectivity with the rest of the city. The design seeks to give adequate accessibility to the complex. All the dwellings are designed with a private access, ensuring the privacy and security with regard to the visitors and providing an adequate circulation system for the vehicles.
The complex consists of a basement level, a podium, both dedicated to parking, the Garden Living Units and the Sky Living Towers.
The Garden Living Units are located at podium level and overlooking the sea. They consist of apartments with one bedroom and a garden, and duplex apartments with a garden (house/office). These homes start on the fourth floor and extend along the front low tower. The spatial configuration of the apartments and the duplexes offers the possibility of converting them into a new type, the villa with garden from 2 to 3 bedrooms, if the market or the occupant so desires.
The Sky Living Towers, located on the podium, house two-bedroom apartments, three-bedroom apartments and penthouse villas at the top of the towers. All homes enjoy panoramic sea views from the living room and master bedroom.
Living in a garden, under filtered light and overlooking the sea.
The Garden Living Units have a private garden, sea views, cross ventilation, well designed porch access and shared facilities. The space is designed to maximise the integration of vegetation and green spaces.
Living in the sky, on top of a garden and overlooking the sea.
The two Sky Living Towers have larger homes designed to accommodate families. They have panoramic views, cross ventilation and private access. Shared amenities include a lounge, diwaniyas, and multipurpose rooms, children’s playgrounds, gyms and a variety of outdoor pools and green spaces.
As a whole, the proposal for Sama’a Wafra revolves around the creation of an architectural experience linked to wellbeing and nature, both on a domestic and public scale. Gardens, views, terraces are specially taken into account to design all areas, taking advantage of the conditions of the place to create spaces for living.