Main entrance pavilion

Client: Salhia Real Estate Company
Location: Mangaf, Kuwait
Size: 230,000sf
Program: 150-key resort hotel, 52 villas, Aqua-therapy + full spa, 3 Restaurants, Health Club, 4 pools/pavilions
Cost: $100,000,000
Status: Completed 2002
Link to web content: TripAdvisor, PACE

Key Roles: R. Anthony Fieldman, former Associate Partner and lead project designer, SOM

SOM - Architect of Record

Image credit: @ R. Anthony Fieldman unless otherwise noted










Sited to the south of Kuwait City, on a stretch of green along the edge of the Arabian Gulf, the design is guided by the desire to create oases of land and water at the intersection of these two environments. Four ‘islands’ of palm-fringed recreational space extend outward from the building toward and onto the beach and are framed by shallow pools of ice-cold water that passively cool the ambient air before it reaches the hotel’s guests. These water channels in turn extend landward into the building, creating interior ‘islands’ that define the building’s public spaces.  Each of the four ‘islands’ culminates in a pavilion that focuses views toward the water and reinforces the building’s relationship to the site. Lobby, restaurant, café and spa are housed in these spaces. 

The pavilions are set against an elevated, two-story curved bar building that houses the hotel’s 150 rooms. A continuous, linear skylight naturally illuminates the hotel corridors, while the pavilions provide episodic interruptions to the corridors and orient the guests. Each quartet of guest rooms is framed by a carved teak ‘wrapper’, into which display cases containing regional crafts have been inserted.

Concept sketch

Image credit: © AMD

Songbird pavilion and climate-tempering pool - exterior

Left: main entrance pavilion; right: songbird pavilion

Aqua-therapy spa - Image credit: © Hilton

Songbird pavilion - image credit: © Hilton