Salmiya, Kuwait Commission: Studio Toggle Studio Toggle Architects were commissioned to design an apartment building as an investment property. Since the site lacked street character, the brief for this 10-storey project, housing 20 two-bed apartments, was a practical design approach, coupled with low-maintenance living spaces, suitable to an expat lifestyle and a distinct street presence. The designers soon realised that façade design for a high rise should be aesthetically pleasing and functionally sound, and therefore they focused on creating a simple articulated scheme. The transposition of the edges are in rhythmic order, and thistransposition on either side of a finite axis imparts drama to the façade; which isfurther enhanced by the use of brick cladding and an exposed concrete finish.This articulation is of functional importance as it achieves more directional viewpoints, acts as a windbreaker and provides shade and privacy.
A vertical strip of aluminum louvers, which splits the building's frontage into two halves, denotes the divide between the homes on the north and south sides. An exposed lobby provides access to the staircase, lifts and a communal gym, whereas the patio at the rear accommodates a small open-air swimming pool.The lobby's glass-reinforced concrete ceiling incorporates recessed lighting in an angular channel that directs people towards the various entrances; and the patinated concrete floor tiles coated with clear epoxy resin form a hardsurface complementing the brick. The ventilated brick cladding, which is weatherproofed, offers effective thermal protection while withstanding the harsh desert climate. The recessed windows and the aluminum louvers reduce the heat gain while blocking out the direct sun. Finally, the restrained palette of locally sourced materials, including fired brick and fair-faced concrete, respect the budgetary constraints This landmark project respects its requirement to maximize the rentable space while enhancing the quality of life for its tenants.