Kuwait’s architecture is a combination of old and new; traditional and modern; simple and extravagant.
Kuwait’s old houses were simple structures, but adorned with paintings, mosaic patterns and ornamentation. A typical house had a central courtyard with a series of rooms built around it. The Bayt-Al-Bader, Sadu House, Dickson House are among the few houses that remain intact giving us an insight into Kuwaiti architecture 150 years ago. The construction activity that took place during the oil boom years was more focussed on gigantic towers and eight-lane motorways where the design was completely modern. The reconstruction of Kuwait after the Iraqi invasion saw a different style. The buildings are modern but they retain traditional design.
They incorporate the latest architectural technology as well as elements of traditional Islamic design such as the central courtyard, fountains etc. The Kuwait Towers, the national symbol, can be seen from most angles within Kuwait City and the areas around it. It comprises three towers, one of them boasts an observation deck that gives a panoramic view of Kuwait City and the Arabian Gulf.
The National Assembly Building, designed by the famous architect who designed the Sydney Opera House, is a cement structure based on the form of a Bedouin Tent.
The Grand Mosque is the largest and most modern of Mosques, decorated with Islamic designs and calligraphy both on the inside and outside.
The 220 ft tall Liberation Tower is another example of Kuwaiti contemporary architecture. Its construction was halted because the Iraqi invasion.
The work continued in 1993 and the tower was officially opened on March 10, 1996, hence the name “Liberation Tower”.
Many of the world’s greatest architects have contributed to the skyline of Kuwait.