Controversy has been surrounding the designs for the 1 World Trade Center. Over 20 changes have been applied to the initial drawings, however the main conflict was concerning the importance of having the pole (antenna) on top of the skyscraper. It has always been part of the towers' characteristics. Should that change now?
“The problem is that the council does not recognize antennae, flagpoles, signage or other superfluous structures as contributing to the height of the building. That is why the Willis Tower, 1,451 feet, ranks eighth tallest in the world, even though two broadcasting arrays bring its total height to 1,729 feet, the second tallest in the world behind the Burj Khalifa.”- The Observer
Almost every city has its icon building or skyscraper making it the symbol of the city if not the entire country. Kuwait has its “Kuwait Towers” but now this might change, a new iconic tower is emerging. Like everything so big, controversy arises, many people are against it due to the high cost and its “alien” character in a city where no proper city planning has been done, others however are thrilled to have such a monument that would draw international attention. The AlHamra tower is 412m high, one of the 10 highest towers in the world, however this is not the main special characteristic of this tower, its pride resides in it being the tallest “sculpted” tower. It is about time we appreciate design and form over just height. This tower captures it all.
Its southern wall acts as the backbone of the skyscraper, yet it is designed to decrease solar radiation. In a country as hot as Kuwait, creating such an aspect that protects the building against harsh environmental conditions is essential.
It’s a pity how the area around it is very primitive with old 1 and 2 story structures that are an eyesore for everyone passing through the city. In addition to the unfortunate surrounding, the angle at which the tower is situated does not allow much ability for passers by to view the entire monument, it can only be seen fully from a distant angle.
Instead of criticizing the AlHamra tower for being among these buildings, instead, I think its a step to find a solution for everything that should NOT be there.
For details, floor plans, and images please refer to the tower’s web site.