T52 Competition

T52 is the winning scheme of an invited and closed competition, organised by Al Mutawir, a Kuwaiti based development Management Company, and owned by Sheikh Salem Humoud Al Salem Al Sabah .

T52 tower project will spearhead a unique real estate development project in kuwait city. Hessa Al Mubarak is a virgin 220.000m² chunk of land, benefiting from a  very innovative master plan and urban vision. T52 tower stands in the heart of it all, and is planned to be the catalyst of the coming 25 years of development for HAM.

The following storyboard reveals the mode of living which our project intends to induce.

5:45AM the alarm clock rings, signaling the start of the day He wakes up from bed, contemplates the easterly sunrise from his floor to ceiling bedroom window, finding its way between the cornice side designer towers.

M occupies unit B in the 19th floor of T52. He and his family moved in about two weeks ago.

Having prepared quickly into his biking gear, he rides the 3.0m/s lift down to the first basement in less than a minute, grabs his bicycle and leaves for his 45 minutes morning exercise by the sea shore, enjoying the pleasant weather in the early hours of the day.

By the time he returns, his two children are up and having breakfast on the dining room table, enjoying the amazing natural daylight and the plunging view to the park, where many neighbors are stretching after their exercise; They could recognize X with his lovely wife, both from Sweden with their boy, in Kuwait for a three years stay, working for KIPCO on a special project. They occupy the amazing B tower Duplex that has a fantastic plunge pool. They have already invited the kids over for a swim and a play date. Lovely family.

Time passes quickly, M takes this kids out to drop them off to their week end activities, while M’s wife is still in bed, resting, re charging as she has guests arriving today. Fifteen ladies arriving at 12:00 for a day at the pool. She had pre booked the common room and the pool for the day. She will entertain them whilst enjoying the lovely park view, and all the amenities offered to T52 tenants. Catering is arriving early to deliver the food to the common kitchen and get ready to receive the arriving guests.

The phone rings, it is the doorman service announcing the arrival of the catering truck, confirming he has directed them directly to the upper drop off/loading dock at the third podium floor; that is closer to the Common floor.

She is content; thankful he did not send the truck down to the second loading dock in the basement. The doorman is newly hired, and he already knows the building well.  He also confirms that the visitors parking has been booked for six hours, between 12 and 6pm.

Everything is ready.

The day passes quickly, the crowd dissipates, and sun is getting ready to set.

Families are driving back from their day spent out. They can easily recognize T52 from far away. Its terraced and planted volume, it’s stretching up to 160m, its elegant silhouette, its contextual architecture, all make it contrast with the existing array of towers.

Its design is unique by embedding sustainable solutions in an elegant and timeless composition.

M and his wife had explained to their children that the planted and usable roofs, reduce the direct sun heat, and the recessed living/usable areas shade away from the sun, and reduce the cooling load requirements. Once in winter when the children ventured to the common pool, they learned that its hot water was heated by the solar panels that clad the south, south east and south west facades of the main core volume, which generates enough hot water for a year round use for the inhabitants as well as the outdoor pool.

The Photovoltaic panels serve to provide power for the emergency lighting and the dark areas like the basements or enclosed spaces.

The children were even more surprised to learn that the water from the showers and the kitchen sink, as well as the condensate from the AC is collected via a separate piping system, that then treats the water and renders is usable for general cleaning of the common areas and the irrigation of the planters within the project, but more importantly, it is sufficient to irrigate the part of the park that is immediate to the north of T52. What a great way to give to the community and tie T52 tower to its neighbourhood, both in its design but also in its operation.

So it helps the park when I take a shower?” asks the young boy. M smiles at the honesty of the question. It does, my dear, it does, but you should be careful not to overuse fresh water, it is a very valuable commodity that we should preserve.

In fact the architect of the T52 project was so concerned about water and how to make the project impact less the environment, that he designed the AC system utilising the water present underground.

“Underground?, How is that done daddy?”.

Well it is simple, there is water in the soil below our feet, and its temperature is much lower than the ambient temperature we feel on our skin. This difference is used to generate a cooling load sufficient for the whole building, with two main advantages. The electrical energy needed to cool a space is reduced by more than 30%, so people pay less power bills and have more money to buy gifts for their children.

“Smiles fill the faces of the two children”.

Secondly, the system allows the machines to be placed underground, since they don’t need to be exposed to the natural air. This frees up completely and almost all the roofs of the project. That is why the duplex of the neighbours can have a beautiful terrace with the plunge pool you like so much.

Truly a unique approach.

Driving up the boulevard and making a turn, T52 is now fronting them in the car; suddenly the external lighting designed/embedded into the patterns of Solar and Photovoltaic panels, turns on automatically. It is a self-sufficient system, feeding from the PV panels and accumulators system installed in the project. It is the day light from the sun that lights up the building at night!

The children are surprised at the moment, and can easily see their apartment, seemingly attached to the central core.

The tower’s plan looks like a flower, explains M.

The three apartments are connected to the main core as are the petals connected to the stem of a flower. Both metaphorically and physically, the core serves to connect all three residential “petals/volumes” but also serves them with electrical power and hot water, aside from housing the main vertical circulation.

This also allow each apartment “petal/volume” to have more exposure to the outside and hence better access to natural ventilation and natural light. The result is also more individuality and differentiation between apartments, allowing each tenant to identify with a smaller scale part of the tower. 

Seeing that his children were still listening, M continued on: 

Moreover, as one way to compensate for the longer perimeter and “more windows” the architect chose to use simple inexpensive material, like plastered/painted insulation boards. The recessing of the windows also meant that simple, efficient double glazing can be used without the need for very expensive and technologically advanced systems. Low cost solutions, used smartly can help achieve a beautiful experience. 

He had finished his sentence when he had reached the main entrance. He drove in, passed by the abstract steel sculpture set at a psychological round a bout, and went down to the first basement where his parking is. The automated motion sensor preceded the car by lighting up its path in the basement, which was still receiving some diffused light from the outside through the two “English courts” designed to the northern edge to light and ventilate the four the drivers rooms there. In fact, A, Mr and Mrs X’s driver was just heading to his quarter there, he crossed by M’s parking spot and nodded to salute him and his small family. 

Moments later, M was greeting his wife while his children running to their individual rooms to get ready for dinner after a full day in Kuwait city. 

Sun had almost set. City lights came alive. M felt proud and safe for being there.

It felt like home. 

Just another day for the tenants of apartment 19 in B block of T52

Tailored services and amenities. A rare address. A unique architectural project. T52 Tower.