Al-Hamra Tower, another skyscraper added to the list of top 10 tallest buildings in the world


Having its opening on 11th November last year and with construction fully completed this year, Al-Hamra Tower located at Kuwait City, Kuwait had finally made it to the list of the current world’s top ten tallest buildings this year. Standing at a height of 412.6 metres with total of 77 floors, Al-Hamra Tower stands proud over its neighbouring buildings in the city. The building has now achieved the ‘completed’ status, and joins the other 13 completed skyscrapers around the world that exceeded 400 metres in height at the moment.

Al-Hamra Tower is designed by the famous architecture firm, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill which is very experienced on designing skyscrapers. The building is also the tallest stone clad structure and the tallest sculpted tower in the world, and is very iconic due to its unique form and appearance. The lighting illumination on the exterior facade of the building is also very impressive. Nowadays, buildings tend to depend on lighting for a sparkling presence at night. I like this design personally, which is also designed in response to the climate and views besides than only focusing on aesthetic purpose. It’s a very unique and different design that stands out among the other masterpieces that Skidmore, Owings and Merrill had produced before. It looks quite bold in the day but appears quite ‘light’ (in opposite to heavy) at night. A great addition and truly a new landmark to the city.

Al Hamra is a tower whose 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. In a construction first, they will attempt to build the upper-most flared wall a seven-story structure that juts out 45 m from the building while suspended a quarter of a mile in the air. It consists of two ‘wings’ which are connected by a sky bridge on each floor providing what is promised to be ‘dramatic views’.

The building isn’t only aesthetic; it also serves a practical form. The twisting shape ensures optimum views, while the opposite stone clad wall acts a protective skin from the desert sun where temperatures top 55 degrees. The 80 story tall concrete wall insulates the building. The south wall conceived as a tall protective stone element, forms the structural spine of the building and contains a sky bridge connecting the east and west office wings on each floor. The sky bridges present a unique spatial experience with deeply sculpted openings in the south. Strategically located south wall openings allow for dramatic views towards the city, and the infinite desert beyond, while controlling the strong solar radiation from south.

On the ground floor, Al Hamra’s transparent north façade opens up and welcomes tenants with a soaring 20m-tall highly articulated lamella structure inside the lobby. The geometry of the lobby area is generated by applying the principles of lamella structures. The continuous structure acts as a completely integrated strengthening component in the lobby, while creating a dramatic lobby experience for Al Hamra’s visitors. Hmm…overall, the building looks nice, elegant and ‘right’ in respond to the surrounding as well as been beautifully crafted out with the facade appears sweeping down gently in curve that is balanced in proportion. And don’t forget it’s impressively tall too!

(Those lovely images from this post are from the forum thread of this building in skyscrapercity.com)

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