Jade is a multi-level residential building located in a high-density area of Salmiya, Kuwait, where architects on the project say existing multi-unit housing suffers from “lack of identity, insufficient natural lighting, lack of accessible green and communal spaces, ineffectively planned apartments, inadequate parking, etc.” The team from Studio Toggle set out to change that dialogue with Jade.
The building was constructed with the constraints of the lot and Kuwait’s climate in mind. Located on 813 square meters, Jade houses 20 independent residential units, ample double basement parking, social gathering areas in the open plan ground floor with a gym, kids play area and rooftop social space with a 15-meter-long pool and barbeque area.
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The 10 stories of residential units are uniquely laid out to invite in natural light and place internal gardens in each apartment. This provides a sun barrier and funnels the wind for natural ventilation. The architects also used passive design to generate microclimates within the apartments by analyzing the movement of the sun and the height of surrounding buildings to situate the layout in response.
The building’s facade is constructed from perforated metal cladding that offers thermal protection without restricting views. A layer of insulated concrete panels is durable and helps stand up to the harsh desert climate.
The material selections were low-tech to minimize costs while maximizing energy efficiency. The architects say this combination of passive design techniques provides a housing solution that protects against the heat while honoring the culture of the area.
In a press release, Studio Toggle said, “The design explores a new typology by adapting and scaling up the traditional middle eastern courtyard house concept with Mashrabiyas (privacy screen) in a multi-level, multi-unit scenario without compromising the vernacular’s original qualities combating extreme weather typical in Kuwait.”
Images via Gijo Paul George