Wafra Real Estate Appoints Gensler Lead Consultant for Food and Beverage Development Wafra Seef
First images of Kuwaiti seaside dining complex released
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — Leading global architecture and design firm Gensler has been appointed to design Wafra Seef, a premiere food and beverage and entertainment destination in Kuwait. Wafra Real Estate appointed Gensler to provide full design and supervision consultancy services. This exquisite dining destination will be the first of its kind in the region, offering patrons a gathering place where they can dine, meet and mingle, while enjoying the breathtaking views of the Arabian coastline. This is Gensler’s second project with Wafra Real Estate, having recently completed the interior of Wafra’a headquarters in Kuwait.
Wafra Seef is located along the coastline of the Al Mahboula Area just south of Kuwait City. The 5,760-square-meter location holds the advantage of stunning sea views over the Arabian Gulf (east) and direct access from the main coastal road (west).
Gensler designers were charged to create a retail venue unique to Kuwait, exuding quality, contemporary simplicity and understated elegance. The innovative concept and schematic design is based on a shell-and-core system that maximizes leasing opportunities, increases utilization of outdoor space, and contributes to efficient circulation in the lobby and dining outlets.
“In recent years Kuwait has experienced an emergence of new trendy dining developments. Wafra’s intent is to build the ultimate dining destination, catering to Kuwaiti nationals and expats alike,” says Mr. Tareq Abu-Sukheila, managing director of Gensler Abu Dhabi. “We have designed Wafra Seef to offer beautiful indoor and outdoor spaces, with spectacular views of the Gulf. Wafra Seef will be an experience like none other in the region. Our designers utilized Gensler’s ample expertise in retail to provide a distinctive complex enhanced by the beautiful surroundings of the Arabian coast.”
Connectivity is a critical design element of the project; therefore, smooth transitions between drop-off and ground-floor terraces in the form of sloped walkways were completely integrated into the form of the site. A strong linear axis between the street entrance and the ocean allows for clear views from nearly all occupied locations. To enhance this line, a series of focal points or nodes were created at the primary entrance, the under-bridge area and the sunken courtyard. To complete the concept, the landscape design, outdoor furnishings and lighting are specially treated in order to promote “calm” alongside the dining terraces.
“We are pleased to work with Gensler on our second project in the region,” says Mr. Mohamad K AlZemami, project manager, Wafra Real Estate Company. Their design of Wafra Seef encapsulated our desire to build an exceptional restaurant experience that enhances the sea location, providing visitors with a one-of-a-kind, dining and entertainment experience.”
In addition to the initial concept, Wafra Real Estate has requested the design team to seek out and implement additional alternative lifestyle functions, such as gyms and health club facilities, as well as family and entertainment activities.
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