The Kuwait Towers, with their signature blue-green sequins,’ stand out as the country’s most recognizable landmarks. They opened in 1979 after being designed by a Swedish company of architects. The tallest of the three stands a lofty 187m above ground.
In addition to an international buffet restaurant, there is a gift store and observation deck for guests to enjoy. Regular admission grants access to the 120-meter observation platform with its 360-degree vistas. If you dine at the restaurant with 82-meter views, your admission is on the house.
The three thin towers that makeup Kuwait Towers are an iconic emblem of the country’s recent economic growth and a popular destination for tourists throughout the globe. Although there are really three towers making up the construction, it is commonly referred to as “Kuwait tower.”
The Kuwait Towers, located on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Persian Gulf, were formally opened to the public in 1979 and have since become one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.
The blue-tiled mosques and slender minarets of Samarkand and Bukhara are often used as analogies to the Kuwait Towers, which evoke a beautiful mixture of classic Islamic style and modern architectural features. There are no competing skyscrapers in the immediate vicinity of the Kuwait Towers, which contributes to their great visibility and appeal among photographers.
Since their formal opening, the towers have become a symbol of the wealth and luxury that have elevated this once quiet backwater to the tenth richest country in the world per capita.
History of Kuwait Towers
In 1962, little than a year after Kuwait gained its independence from England, the idea of building the Kuwait Tower was conceived. Swedish architects Malene Björn and Sune Lindström of Vatten-Byggnadsbyzan (VBB) created the plan, which was authorized for construction in 1971. Between 1975 and 1976, Union-Inzenjering, a Belgrade-based construction company, oversaw the majority of the project’s structural development.
Kuwait was scarred by seven months of Iraqi occupation beginning on August 2, 1990, when Saddam Hussein of Iraq attacked the country. After a 100-hour ground assault that started on February 25, Kuwait was able to regain its independence. Saddam’s forces were responsible for undermining efforts to destroy the Kuwait Towers and other symbols of an independent Kuwait.
In addition to damaging the buildings’ exteriors with gunfire and shrapnel, Iraqi forces also sabotaged the structures’ electrical utilities and ruined inner amenities.
The estimated 75% of damage to the Kuwait Towers was repaired over the rest of 1991 and into early 1992, and all essential technical and comfort amenities were returned to their pre-loss state.
The anticipated price of the renovation was KD 2 million. The reopening of the Kuwait Towers on December 26, 1992, by then-Finance and Planning Minister Nasser Al-Roudhan, was a moment of national pride for the people of Kuwait.
The architectural design of Kuwait Towers
The Kuwait Towers, consisting of two major and one smaller tower, were completed in March 1979 over a total area of 38,000 square meters. The total height of the main tower, including the ground level, the main sphere, and the viewing sphere, is 187 meters (614 feet).
The characteristic restaurants, cafes, and reception halls of Kuwait Towers may all be found in the main tower, while the lower sphere houses a restaurant with seating for 90 and a 4,500-cubic-meter water tank.
The glass-enclosed viewing sphere rises 123 meters above ground and rotates through a full 360 degrees every 30 minutes, giving visitors a bird’s-eye view of Kuwait City and its interesting environs, as well as the calm blue seas of the Persian Gulf. The Viewing Sphere is a rotating platform with a café and souvenir shop that offers breathtaking views over Kuwait City and other perks.
The second tower is 147 meters high and is used as a water storage facility. The third tower provides lighting for the other two and energy to parts of Kuwait City. The towers can contain up to 10 cubic meters of water.
The Danish architect Malene Bjorn oversaw the water distribution project that included the construction of the Kuwait Towers, which are currently being managed by the Swedish engineering firm VBB (since 1997, renamed Sweco).
The company’s chief architect, Sune Lindstrom, had already built five sets of his signature “mushroom” water towers before beginning work on the Kuwait towers. Still, the Amir of Kuwait requested a more eye-catching design for the sixth location. The Amir was shown three of Lindstorm’s designs before settling on this one.
Energoproject of Belgrade, Yugoslavia, has been tasked with the bulk of VBB’s construction work. Prestressed and reinforced concrete were used in the construction of the towers.
Reminiscent of the tiled domes of ancient Mosques, roughly 41,000 steel discs in eight different hues of green, blue, and gray cover the three spheres. The steel discs are already placed in spiral patterns around the spheres. In 1980, the Aga Khan Prize for architecture was given to the designers of the Kuwait Towers and the Kuwait Water Towers.
Highlights of Kuwait Towers
When people think of modern Kuwait, they think of the Kuwait Towers. The towers were officially inaugurated in March 1979 and were shuttered for maintenance from March 2012 until March 8, 2016, when they reopened to the public with a major fireworks display. The towers are easily visible from much of Kuwait City, making them a prominent landmark there.
The primary tower is two spheres high and 187 meters in height. Half of a 4500 cubic meter water tank is housed in the lower sphere, while the top sphere has a lounge, a cafe, and a reception area, with seating for 90 people. The top sphere rotates once every 30 minutes, reaching a height of 123 meters above sea level. The views from the top of this rotating tower include the whole city.
The second tower is a water tower and is 147 meters in height. The third tower serves as a control center for the power grid and provides lighting for the other two. The combined capacity of the towers is 9000 cubic meters.
The architect claims that the grouping of globes and rockets on the Kuwait Tower is a metaphor for the values of mankind and technology. Both the Kuwait Towers and the Kuwait Water Towers were honored with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
- What is the address of Kuwait Towers?
Gulf St, Kuwait City, Kuwait.
- What are the opening hours of Kuwait Towers?
Every day from 8 AM to 11 PM.