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Sculpting the Skyline

Architects, engineers, and contractors tackle a challenging geometry to build a supertall tower with a striking silhouette for a desert city.

May 2012
From Architectural Record

By Joann Gonchar, AIA

Continuing Education

Use the following learning objectives to focus your study while reading this month’s Continuing Education article.

Learning Objectives - After reading this article, you will be able to:

  1. Explain how evaluation of programmatic requirements and environmental conditions helped designers generate the form of Kuwait City's Al Hamra Firdous Tower.
  2. Describe the key structural elements of the tower and its foundations.
  3. Explain the structural and construction challenges presented by the tower's geometry.
  4. Describe how construction methods were adapted for the harsh desert environment.

Credits: 1.00 HSW

This test is no longer available for credit

The article explores the architectural concepts and structural strategies behind Kuwait City's tallest building and discusses the construction methods used to build it. Click here to read about it»

Parametric Process The geometry of SOM's Al Hamra Firdous Tower is based on a set of criteria that took into account the clients' leasing strategy as well as environmental factors such as solar exposure and wind loading.

Photo © SOM/Pawel Sulima



Originally published in the May 2012 issue of Architectural Record

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