Architecture & Design

Palace of Justice ... designed by Pace.

Palace of Justice ... designed by Pace.

Justice in splendour

The Palace of Justice, which is under construction in Kuwait, has a befitting design, featuring a plaza and two floating cantilevered towers, or wings, symbolising the scales of justice.

October 2020

Construction work on the new Palace of Justice in Kuwait is well under way with almost 37 per cent of the work already completed in record time, according to Pace, a leading architecture and engineering practice.

The project, which broke ground during the first quarter of 2019, is a collaboration between the Amiri Diwan and the Kuwait-based Pace.

 The new Palace of Justice is set to be the largest judicial building in the Middle East and once completed, it will be the latest iteration of smart courts in Kuwait that Pace would have delivered. This includes the Hawalli, Jahra and Farwaniya Courts complexes.

 Soft strands of natural light permeate the golden mesh facade into the hallways.

Soft strands of natural light permeate the golden mesh facade into the hallways.

 Located in the heart of Kuwait City, the project covers an area of 33,384.5 sq m. The landmark building, overlooking the Arabian Gulf, will have more than 141 courtrooms and around 131,000 sq m of office space spread over 26 floors.

 The project is also notable for its symbolic design, as Engineer Ebrahim Ashkanani, of the Amiri Diwan points out.

“The building’s design, with its solid plaza and two floating cantilevered towers, or wings, symbolises the scale of justice,” he explains.

 The Amiri Diwan had commissioned Pace to undertake the full architectural design and construction supervision of the project.

“We sought a design that would reflect Kuwait’s enduring commitment to justice and communicate solidarity and a strong foundation for all new beginnings, with every feature supporting its dual-functionality as a space for both the people and the government,” he adds.

 Pace CEO Architect Tarek Shuaib says: “As long-term development partners of the Amiri Diwan, we truly share their vision to support the New Kuwait 2035 development goals and we are fully committed to their efforts to move forward with development plans in the most efficient and accelerated manner possible.”

 “Utilising fast-track construction technologies, we have managed to complete approximately 70 per cent of structural works in record time, something we are all very proud of,” he adds.

The complex, overlooking the Arabian Gulf, will have more than 141 courtrooms.

The complex, overlooking the Arabian Gulf, will have more than 141 courtrooms.

 Giving a project update, Pace says the site works had commenced during the first quarter of 2019 with the removal of the existing parking lot and the erection of the new structure in its place, parallel to the existing palace – which will be subsequently demolished and replaced.

 Works currently under way also include installation of precast concrete panels at the building’s perimeter envelope; and  fast-tracking concrete casting for the floor slabs.

Progress is also being made on the building’s enclosure and validating the site’s readiness for the upcoming stone cladding activities and aluminium curtain-wall installations.

Also under way are the relocation and refurbishment of services and utilities, in addition to electromechanical and ducting works, he adds.

In addition, installation of internal partitioning studs and underlaying terrazzo flooring for every casted floor are under way to overlap construction activities and fast-track the schedule of works.

Highlighting the unique and award-nominated design of the project, Shuaib says: “The monolith structure houses two fractions that are joined together to create a glistening hollow expanse in the centre, which resembles a golden geode inspired by the traditional geometry of the Middle East. Underneath the towers sits a public plaza which forms the entryway into the entire facility, with its open and transparent welcoming concourse. The 20-floor atrium, spanning between the geode segments and interlaced with bridges, creates an abundant sense of movement and circulation.

Structural works on the Justice of Palace project are almost 70 per cent complete.

Structural works on the Justice of Palace project are almost 70 per cent complete.

“Views from within overlook the outdoor courtyard where people can rest and enjoy the surrounding views of the sea and cityscape. As visitors continue their journeys inside the building, soft strands of natural light permeate the golden mesh facade into the hallways. The external facade module was devised with optimal window sizes to provide ample natural sunlight cast through the golden geode, which can improve the wellbeing and productivity of its occupants.”

Pace’s concept of the ‘Storming Skies’ blurs the line between pure landscaping and art. With the use of hanging metal bars over the plaza, the illusion of a storm cloud is created. A visitor’s perception of these clouds would change relative to their position in the building.

Ashkanani points out that all parties involved have been committed to keeping the project on track, despite the added challenges and limitations imposed by the coronavirus pandemic. He also notes that during these critical times, health and safety measures have been an utmost priority on site, reiterating that the project’s entire team is committed to upholding the highest standards of health and safety during all phases of construction.

“Works have resumed with a heightened focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of all those involved – including workers, site engineers and office staff. All those working on the project are always equipped with their all necessary safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE), including face masks, goggles or face shields, safety vests and shoes. Social distancing guidelines are also being closely observed throughout the project,” he adds. 

Shuaib indicates that the project has been recently nominated for a World Architecture Festival (WAF) Award, in the Future Civic Projects category. It was also nominated for a World Architectural News (WAN) Award. Both awards are considered amongst the most significant accolades for architecture and design in the world.

In the past too, Amiri Diwan had collaborated with Pace to deliver some of the largest and award-winning/nominated development projects in Kuwait. These include the Jahra Medical City, one of the largest healthcare projects worldwide, and the Jahra and Farwaniya Courts complexes. 

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