The Forum ... set underneath a mega dome.

The Forum ... set underneath a mega dome.

Regional landmark

June 2018

Kuwait recently witnessed the grand opening of the fourth and final phase of its The Avenues mall, culminating a series of expansions undertaken on the signature mall since its inauguration back in 2007.

Owner Mabanee collaborated with Pace – a leading regional consultant in architecture, planning and engineering – and Gensler to construct the entire project. With a retail built-up area of over 130,000 sq m, and a total leasable area of 85,000 sq m, Phase Four was  carried out at a cost of KD265 million ($900 million), taking the total cost of The Avenues project to KD600 million.

The new expansion has introduced a set of new shopping and leisure districts along with further expansions to the existing popular districts of The Avenues like Prestige, Grand Avenue and The Souk.  This phase has created an additional 300 stores, bringing the total number of outlets in the mall to 1,100.

According to Waleed Al Shurian, chief executive officer of Mabanee, The Avenues has established itself as one of Kuwait’s most prominent landmarks and has made a noticeable impact on the national economy. “The retail concepts of open streets – under a translucent roof – set new standards of contemporary building in the Arab world.”

The extension to The Avenues offers new destinations that include:

• The Grand Plaza, a new public square located at the end of Grand Avenue, inspired by civic squares around the world;

• Electra, which is targeted at high-tech enthusiasts. It is inspired by the bright lights and state-of-the-art technology found in Hong Kong’s Kowloon and Tokyo’s Ginza districts;

• The Arcades, comprising small-scale enclosed luxury boutiques, accessible through Prestige and Grand Avenue;

The concept of open streets retail under a translucent roof ... setting new standards of contemporary building.

The concept of open streets retail under a translucent roof ... setting new standards of contemporary building.

• The Gardens, directly above connecting to the Prestige from the mezzanine floor, which offers covered ‘outdoor’ dining experiences;

• The Forum, which takes architectural inspiration from the iconic architecture of London’s Regent Street to deliver a new and exciting retail experience for the region. It is set underneath a mega dome and provides shopping over two levels; and

• The Cinemas district, which has a distinctive external appearance, featuring three-dimensional forms, incorporating external LED lighting and high-resolution screens as an iconic addition to the architecture of The Avenues.

Elaborating on the latest expansion, Pace CEO Engineer Tarek Shuaib says: “Additional components of this massive venture include a 260-m extension of the Grand Avenue, which creates a new high-street shopping experience for Kuwait with a well-synchronised blend of elements from regional, Western and contemporary architecture for the facades and interiors.

“As for the Prestige district, the new expansion includes an additional 47 distinctive luxury retail units. The Souk has been extended to include a district which embodies marketplaces from around the Middle East and is an interpretation of traditional regional retail architecture.”

Also, a four-star Hilton Garden Inn and a luxury five-star Waldorf Astoria hotel will be developed as part of the new extension, featuring world-class rooms and suites, complemented by meeting rooms, leisure and spa facilities.

A multitude of industry-leading technologies were employed across the project, including intricate CNC (computerised numerical control) cut patterns on titanium-coated surfaces and super-sized composite panels with metallic coatings that incorporate feature lighting.

The successful use of the high-tech ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) roof in Phase Three was continued for Phase Four. The roofing required a specialised design by an experienced contractor to deliver the feeling of outdoor indoors via environmentally controlled surroundings that are suitable for year-round occupation within the harsh climate.  

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