Al Andalus, Kuwait City

Al Andalus

Al Andalus Mixed-Use Complex is located in the Kuwait’s Hawally District and offers various and diversified public services such as food and beverages amenities, high-end retail stores and entertainment spaces such as cinemas. The complex includes a tower on its North-West ends which houses offices and clinics.

Despite desertic climate conditions in Kuwait, this Complex intends to not be turned into a full air-conditioned enclosed mall but is designed with the focus of offering comfortable outdoor spaces as the natural continuity of indoor spaces, allowing people to enjoy the outdoor facilities for extended time throughout the year and maximize their usability.

In Kuwait, the year is marked by three climate periods, winter, shoulder seasons and summer. While climate in winter is moderate and comfortable for the human body, shoulder seasons and summer can be very hot and dry for long periods and hence require strategies to make outdoor bearable during that time.

In such climate, mitigating solar radiations during those critical seasons is key for outdoor comfort improvement. The design was first evaluated using computer-assisted solar radiation simulations to understand its shading performance and provide design advice to the architects with several options, as for the Central Plaza, to match performance and aesthetics. As a results, the ground level of the Complex is shaded by a concrete slab on its edge – that serve as mezzanine at level 1 – and operable pergolas and the Central Plaza by a spectacular retractable membrane, spanning from both main Complex sides. During summer nights, this membrane is retracted exposing the thermal mass of the Plaza to the cold night sky for passive radiative cooling. At the level 1, the mezzanine is shaded with foldable umbrellas to benefit as well from passive radiative night sky cooling.

Detailed Computational Fluid Dynamic simulations were used to predict airflow directions and velocities over the entire project site and were used as inputs to evaluate the outdoor comfort with the proposed shading strategies and validate them.