Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
The Exhibition Hall in Kuwait City, Kuwait by OMA
March 16th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: OMA
In the last decades, the increasing presence of brands within department stores has eroded the store’s capacity to define its own identity. Department stores have become characterless landlords of a chaotic rabble of brands, cancelling each other out through their constant declarations of uniqueness. The Exhibition Hall, a new development within Kuwait City’s 360Mall, tries to create a new paradigm that will redefine the relation between department stores and brands by letting them participate in an explicit cultural concept.
OMA’s design for the Exhibition Hall alternates spaces assigned to brands with spaces curated by the department store hosting cultural exhibitions and events. The ambition is to promote emerging Arab talents in the field of fashion, art, and design. The department store will launch a curatorial strategy for a high turnover of commercial and cultural exhibitions and events, working as a social condenser as well as a place for bespoke fashion and design.
The Exhibition Hall will be the first department store to be a public forum for the local and the Middle Eastern community, as well as a laboratory to experiment in cross contaminations between fashion brands and regional art and culture.
A series of multifunctional partition walls divide each floor in linear galleries that will host exhibitions and events, multi-brand open spaces, and mono-brand boutiques. The exhibition/event spaces will be curated, in terms of architectural concept and curatorial strategy, by OMA for The Exhibition Hall in collaboration with the hosted brands and artists. In the multi-brand open spaces, all the brands will collectively participate to homogeneous architectural concepts, designed according to the curatorial strategy of the Exhibition Hall.
In the galleries allocating mono-brand boutiques, the occupants will be free to develop their own retail concepts as a tailored contribution to the overall concept of the department store. Like a traditional souk, the Exhibition Hall will generate a variety of public areas and intimate spaces; some galleries will have a more permanent character while others will be more temporary and could be periodically renovated according to the curatorial strategy.
The deep partition walls, integrating the existing vertical supporting structure, will become a multifunctional tool allocating product display, product storage, fitting rooms and MEP services. Visitors and costumers can meander through the galleries, experiencing a sequence of different conditions, thanks to a large number of openings in the partitions and also to the main walkway loops, directly connected to the existing 360Mall circulation . A new transparent façade will inundate interior spaces of the Exhibition Hall with natural light and at the same time will give brands valuable exterior exposure, quite unique in the Gulf region.
Category: Exhibition Center