Thursday, 30 October 2008

The Arab Fund Building

There are few extraordinary sights in Kuwait City and its residential and industrial areas which really deserve lots of attention. An exceptionally fine example of modern Islamic Art and Architecture can be found at the intersection of Airport Road and Gamal Abdul Nasser St in Shuwaikh, the Arab Organizations Headquarters Building, commonly known as the Arab Fund Building. Rather plain and cubic, let’s say Bauhaus-like, when seen from the highway, Arab architectural principles of integrity of space, decoration and function are applied here in an extraordinarily balanced way. Only guided tours are possible and I had opportunities to impress my guests and friends with what Islamic Art can achieve.

Already the huge entrance door with its hand carved wooden inlaid pieces fitting together without any nails and allowing expansion during extreme climate changes is absolutely amazing. When you enter, on your lefts side the marvelous Moroccan water fall with its intricate blue mosaic provides tranquility and will cool you down having just entered from the scorching heat outside the building.

The building’s grandiose eight-story atrium is filled with trees on rotating stands, bird cages, and huge hanging lamps. An indoor paradise garden, protected nature in an otherwise hostile environment.

The visitor will be guided through stunning libraries, conference rooms, an auditorium, a prayer room with a huge wall-to-wall, red Moroccan carpet and the beautiful Mamluk Room in the style of 12th century Egypt.

My favorite has always been the Tunisian Room with its highly polished surfaces reflecting the ceramic tile panels on the floor and marble conference table in an unexpected way. The Moroccan cedar wood ceiling is stunning as well.

Call 4844500 for arranging a guided tour.

1 comment:

Baroque said...

amazing! its supposed to be the most beautiful building in Kuwait. xx