- Joaquin Perez-Goicoechea and Nasser Abulhasan, Highly Commended for Principal of the Year.
- AGi architects, shortlisted in the Large Firm of the Year category.
Kuwait City, 27th November 2017.- The international design firm AGi architects, led by Nasser Abulhasan and Joaquin Perez-Goicoechea, picked up the Sustainable Project of the Year Award for Wind Tower at Middle East Architect Awards, at a gala dinner held last week in Dubai.
Wind Tower, located in Kuwait City, was selected by judges amongst four other projects competing in the same category. In addition, Nasser Abulhasan and Joaquin Perez-Goicoechea were Highly Commended for Principal of the Year while the design firm was shortlisted in the Large Architecture Firm of the Year category.
Wind Tower by AGi architects
According to Nasser Abulhasan, Principal and co-founder of AGi architects, “the whole AGi architects team is very proud of the award granted to Wind Tower, a contemporary building that respects the traditional way of living of Kuwaiti society, and is committed to sustainability, as this award recognizes".
Wafra Vertical Housing introduces a new concept to urban living that adapts to the evolving lifestyle of 21st Century contemporary Kuwait. Considering the increasing demand for land in the city, the transformation of single family dwelling typologies becomes a must, where tenants should be able to enjoy privacy as well as benefit from vertical solution amenities and prime location.
Understanding and reinterpreting local environmental techniques is one of the main targets of this design. The services core of the building is thus located on the southern wing, in order to minimize sun exposure and consequently reduce energy consumption – acting as a thermal barrier to the rest of the building. Hence, minimum openings are placed on the aforementioned façade, while on the other hand the building opens to the North, facing the sea and enjoying its privileged views. Optimal opportunities for natural lighting and cross ventilation also become an essential driving force for the design, which give the tower its character and determine its final orientation. Taking the idea of the traditional middle-eastern courtyard typology and developing it volumetrically, the initial concept flourishes in the form of the tower. The courtyard is no longer constrained to the core of the building; instead, it borrows light and ventilation from the facade, funnels it through the pool area and flows through all levels finding its way out through the opposite façade.
Granite stone is chosen for the façade, in order to give the tower an aspect of a monolithic sculpture that is carved by the wind, in contrast with the smooth surfaces of the interior courtyard that are rendered in white plaster.
Functionally and geometrically, the tower is raised on a plinth that comprises 2 levels, where public spaces – including swimming pool and gym area – are located. The apartments rise up organically and allow for light and ventilation to penetrate through. Full tower height is 13 levels, where 12 duplex apartments are piled in order to preserve privacy. An extra penthouse crowns the building, including rooftop gardens and terraces that are advantageously profited.
Middle East Architect Awards
The tenth annual Middle East Architect Awards recognized the best projects and people in the architecture community across the Middle East. With projects ranging from the world’s tallest towers to one-off villas, and individual nominations from veteran designers as well as bright young architects just starting out, the Middle East Architect Awards are the benchmark of success in the Middle East’s architecture sector.
The international design firm AGi architects was founded by two architects educated at Harvard University, Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea and Nasser B. Abulhasan.
With a noticeable international character and a multidisciplinary focus, AGi architects offers a professional service emphasizing quality, creativity and exclusive design. AGi has a vision to create environments that create a lasting value for clients through distinctive and imaginative solutions. At present, the studio has offices in Kuwait and Madrid, with a team comprised of more than 50 professionals.
The studio’s architecture is based on four founding pillars: innovation, an inherent life component, ecological and social interventions and research. AGi architects provides comprehensive services in architecture, interior design and urban planning.
AGi architects is recognized with more than 25 international awards such as: Boutique Middle East Architecture Firm of the Year 2015, 2014 & 2012, Residential Project of the Year 2015, 2013 & 2012, at MEAA; Selected Project at FAD International Awards 2016; Best Religious Building 2014 at WAF Awards; Nomination for the Mies van der Rohe Award 2015.