Construction

National Bank of Kuwait says 2,500 workers safely evacuated from under construction HQ site following massive blaze

Kuwait Fire Department safely evacuates workers in ‘record time and without any injuries’, bank says

National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) says that construction workers were unharmed when a massive fire broke out at the construction site of its new headquarters in the capital, Kuwait City, on Thursday, 27 September 27, 2018.

Huge columns of black smoke were seen in the skies of the Kuwait capital after the blaze hit the 300m skyscraper, which is located in the Sharq financial district.

In a Twitter message, the bank said that the Kuwait Fire Department was immediately in action and evacuated more than 2,500 workers safely from site, “in record time and without any injuries”. The fire was also successfully extinguished.

The bank’s management also thanked the Ministry of Interior, the Emergency Medical Services, for their quick response in putting out the fire.

According to Foster + Partners, the architects behind the tower, the building is being constructed to have a distinctive presence amongst the high-rise buildings of Sharq. In a brief about the project on their website, the firm said that the design “combines structural innovation with a highly efficient passive form, shielding the offices from the extremes of Kuwait’s climate, where temperatures average 40 degrees in the summer months.

“The tower’s cylindrical form opens like a shell to the north to avoid solar gain, while revealing views of the Arabian Gulf. The southern façade is shaded by a series of concrete fins, which extend the full height of the tower to provide structural support.

“As well as contributing to the environmental strategy, these ribs help to evoke a sense of place in echoing the form of the dhow sailing boat – a reference to the city’s roots in international trade. By tapering towards the base, the design maximises floor space in the upper levels and promotes self-shading, as the overhanging floor plates shelter the offices below. Utilising both passive and active measures to reduce water and energy consumption, the project targets a LEED Gold rating,” the briefing added.

Foster + Partners said that they were appointed in 2013 to design the building.

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