Project: Villa Moda: New Kuwait Sports Shooting Club

Client: Villa Moda—Zeid S. Abdul-Hadi (project director and CEO)

Architect: Office dA—Monica Ponce de Leon, Nader Tehrani (principals); Daniel Gallagher (project architect); Kurt Evans (project coordinator); Ghazal Abassy, Sean Baccei, Arthur Chang, Michael Filisky, Lisa Huang, Jiyoung Park, Ahmad Reza Schricker, Kyle Sturgeon (project team)

Consultants: Arup, Mahadev Raman (sustainability)

Engineers: Matthew H. Johnson (structural)

A 75-acre plot in the desert landscape on the outskirts of rapidly growing Kuwait City, with ready access to highways and other transportation routes.

An expansion of the Kuwait Sports Shooting Club into a community with residential units and public spaces, including retail, commercial space, a conference and convention center, an arena, a movie theater, and an aquatic spa center.

The site for the project is larger than necessary for a single building, and the program is too limited in area to allow for a conventional urban design strategy, so the team from Office dA integrated the various program components beneath a unifying canopy of undulated concrete that recalls the rolling form of the surrounding desert landscape.

The program is deployed across multiple levels to promote a sense of typical urban verticality and complexity. Services and residential units are layered together in a mixed-use setting, atop subterranean parking. The honeycombed ceiling is perforated in some areas to admit natural light, but it is primarily solid, providing shade in a swelteringly hot environment. The aquatic spa serves a similar purpose; its open pools of water lower the temperature of breezes coming in from the desert.

The ready highway access ensures interaction between this community and the rest of Kuwait City, and the inclusion of a flexible arena for public and private events guarantees that the complex will serve as a cultural hub as well.

The Architect

Firm: Office dA, Boston

Principals: Monica Ponce de Leon, Nader Tehrani

Employees: 15

Year Founded: 1991

Recent Work: Rhode Island School of Design Main Library, Providence, R.I.; the Macallen building, Boston (unfinished)