SSH's Kuwait luxury project wins top honours

March 3, 2020

SSH, a leading masterplanning, infrastructure and project management company in the region, said its key project, Al Salam Palace has been selected as the national winner for Kuwait in the Social, Cultural & Heritage Project of the Year category of the 2020 MEED Projects Awards.

The magnificent and luxurious Al Salam Palace was initially built in the 1960s as an official guesthouse for Kuwait's top VIP visitors, in addition to a place to hold official and international conferences and meetings.

It continued to receive Kuwait's guests until it was severely damaged, and its content stolen during the Iraq invasion in 1990. The palace stayed abandoned until 2013, when it was proposed to restore the historic structure and turn it into a museum, celebrating 300 years of Kuwait’s historical past, said the statement from SSH.

The challenge of the redesign was to incorporate contemporary architectural elements that would meet 21st century requirements while simultaneously preserving and incorporating the palace’s historical character into one harmonious vision, it stated.

However, the SSH Design team successfully achieved this by analysing the unique elements of the existing building, conserving those elements and inserting contemporary architectural elements that would all work symbiotically and complement one another.

Visitors now have the chance to follow in the footsteps of heads of states and VIPs as they journey through nine recreated palatial rooms and galleries. The restored palace borders the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre, forming part of Kuwait's vibrant new cultural district, it added.

Khalil Alonaizi, the resident director at SSH, Kuwait, said: 'Al Salam Palace is one of the most historically iconic architectural landmarks in Kuwait and, as such, holds a special place in the hearts and minds of Kuwaitis.'

“SSH’s vision for the project was to bring this building of cultural significance back to life, giving it new purpose as well as making it a source of education and enjoyment for future generations of Kuwaitis and visitors to the country,” he added.

Lauding the winners, Richard Thompson, the editorial director at Meed, said: 'The high quality of entries combined with the number of those received this has year made the judging incredibly challenging. Despite the challenges in the market, it is fantastic to see such high calibre projects being executed and is a testament to the commitment and excellence of the region’s infrastructure stakeholders.'

'These companies have re-affirmed why they are considered the bedrock of the region’s economy,,' he added.

Al Salam Palace will now fight it out with its Gulf rivals for the top spot at the 2020 Meed Projects Awards, being held in association with Mashreq.