World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Architecture of Kuwait

Article Id: WHEBN0005272062
Reproduction Date:

Title: Architecture of Kuwait  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Kuwaiti culture, Architecture of Thailand, Newa architecture, Architecture of Lebanon, Chinese architecture
Collection: Buildings and Structures in Kuwait, Kuwaiti Architecture, Kuwaiti Culture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Architecture of Kuwait

Kuwaiti architecture is a style of architecture unique to Kuwait, a country founded in the early 18th century. Before the discovery of oil, Kuwait has an economy reliant on maritime trade, shipbuilding, caravan trade and the pearl industry. The economy improved by the discovery of oil, enabling more economic growth.

Kuwait City was surrounded by a wall with five gates in the 18th century, but it has now disappeared. Apart from the city wall, Kuwait was protected by two forts: one in the, and the other one at Jahra known as the "Red Fort".

Kuwait’s traditional building materials were rubble stone covered with thick mud plaster, mud brick and sometimes Cora stone. Wood was rare, though mangrove poles imported from East Africa were used for roofs, as were some other few select woods from India. Early Kuwaiti architecture was relatively simple and described| as being based on common sense. Houses had simple and basic exterior designs, and most artistic touches were found on main doors and windows. These houses having to accommodate the communal and tight-knit nature of Kuwaiti society were divided into separate quarters accommodating different members of one family, usually the male children of the owner and their wives. It is common to find central courts, as is the case in other Arab countries, that served as a gathering place for the families. Later, during the 18th century, a typical Kuwait merchant house was built in the Ottoman style that reached the city from Basra. Ottoman features included projecting wooden balconies enclosed with wooden screens or mashrabiya and covered wooden doorways which sometimes included European motifs. The extreme heat of the city made wind catchers and ventilation a necessity for most houses. Pelly, a "Political Resident", described Kuwait in the 1860s as:

A clean, active town, with a broad and open main bazaar, and numerous solid stone dwelling houses stretching along this strand and containing some 20,000 inhabitants, attracting Arab and Persian merchants from all quarters by the equity of its rule and by the freedom of its trade.

Within the city, there were a number of mosques, most of which have been rebuilt several times. The oldest mosques in Kuwait are the Alkhamis Mosque, built between 1772 and 1773, and the Abd AlRazzag Mosque built in 1797. Before the 9th century, minarets were rare, consisting of small square towers covered with small roof canopies.

Modern architecture in Kuwait is mostly in the international style, although there are several buildings that demonstrate a relationship with Middle Eastern themes. The best known example of Kuwaiti modern architecture is the water towers, consisting of tall pointed conical spires above a spherical water tank. Kuwait Towers is also considered Kuwait’s most prominent architectural achievement. The National Assembly of Kuwait is also a landmark building, designed by the Danish architect Jørn Utzon and completed in 1972.


See also


  1. ^
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.