Construction of Kuwait’s Palace of Justice project reaches 34% completion rate
As a clear manifestation of the evolution and ongoing modernisation of the Kuwaiti judicial system, the Amiri Diwan recently announced that construction on the new Palace of Justice is progressing according to plans, having reached 34% completion in record time. The project, which broke ground during the first quarter of 2019, is a collaboration between the Amiri Diwan and Kuwait-based architecture and engineering firm, Pace.
Set to be the largest judicial building in the Middle East, the new Palace of Justice covers an area of 33,384.50 sqm and is located in the heart of Kuwait City, overlooking the Arabian Gulf. The landmark building will have more than 141 courtrooms and around 131,000.00 sqm of office space spread over 26 floors.
The project is also notable for its symbolic design, as Eng. Ebrahim Ashkanani, of the Amiri Diwan pointed out, “the building’s design, with its solid plaza and two floating cantilevered towers, or wings, symbolises the scale of justice. We sought a design that would reflect Kuwait’s enduring commitment to justice and communicate solidarity and a strong foundation for all new beginnings, with every feature supporting its dual-functionality as a space for both the people and the Government”.
The Amiri Diwan commissioned Pace – a leading Kuwait based regional multidisciplinary firm – to undertake the full architectural design and construction supervision of the project. Pace CEO, Architect Tarek Shuaib, commented about the landmark project, saying: “As long term development partners of the Amiri Diwan, we truly share their vision to support the New Kuwait 2035 development goals and we are fully committed to their efforts to move forward with development plans in the most efficient and accelerated manner possible. Utilising Fast-Track construction technologies, we have managed to complete 67% of structural works in record time, something we are all very proud of.”
To date, the project has reached approximately 34% overall completion. Site works commenced during the first quarter of 2019, began with the removal of the existing parking lot and the erection of the new structure in its place, parallel to the existing Palace – which will be subsequently demolished and replaced. Works currently underway also include the relocation and refurbishment of services and utilities, in addition to electromechanical and finishes works.
Shuaib also noted the unique and award nominated design of the project, saying: “The monolith structure houses two fractions that are joined together to create a glistening hollow expanse in the centre, which resembles a golden geode inspired by the traditional geometry of the Middle East. Underneath the towers sits a public plaza which forms the entryway into the entire facility, with its open and transparent welcoming concourse. The 20-floor atrium, spanning between the geode segments and interlaced with bridges, creates an abundant sense of movement and circulation. The external facade module was devised with optimal window sizes to provide ample natural sunlight cast through the golden geode, which can improve the wellbeing and productivity of its occupants”.
Ashkanani in turn pointed out that all parties involved have been committed to keeping the project on track, despite the added challenges and limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. He also noted that during these critical times, health and safety measures have been an utmost priority on site, reiterating that the project’s entire team is committed to upholding the highest standards of health and safety during all phases of construction. “Works have resumed with a heightened focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of all those involved – including workers, site engineers and office staff. All those working on the project are always equipped with their all necessary safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks, goggles or face shields, safety vests and shoes. Social distancing guidelines are also being closely observed throughout the project,” he added.
Shuaib also mentioned that the project has been recently nominated for a World Architecture Festival (WAF) Award, in the Future Civic Projects category. It was also nominated for a World Architectural News (WAN) Award. Both awards are considered amongst the most significant accolades for architecture and design in the world.
It is worth mentioning that the Amiri Diwan had collaborated with Pace in the past to deliver some of the largest and award-winning and award-nominated development projects in Kuwait. This includes the Jahra Medical City, one of the largest healthcare projects worldwide, as well as the Jahra and Farwaniya Courts complexes.