The Gate Mall / Fintas, Kuwait City / 2013

In 2012, PHASE3 clinched an international competition to redesign the façade of this existing shopping mall in Kuwait City. The competition set out that the proposal needed to accommodate a key restraint: the building was already under construction. We developed a new façade system for the building that could respond to the vibrant local context and become an event in itself. The façade, which measures an overall length of 300m, was constrained to a depth of 50cm. Despite having little room to manoeuvre, we developed a single, meaningful gesture that integrates the massive, solid volume of the mall to its surroundings. The GRC façade and its circular pattern set a strong design principle. The exterior is readable and memorable from up close and from the perspective of a car driver. Over the course of the day, the shadows cast onto the façade, changing its aspect qualitatively and enhancing its three-dimensionality. At night, the surface becomes even more tactile with the incorporation of playful contemporary lighting effects.

Can 50cm create a spectacle to engage with the city?