Text: Ioana Iancu;
Photo: Mihai Moldoveanu
At the intersection of boulevards Mircea Eliade and Primăverii, an elegant white building captures our attention through its discretion and coherence. The low height, with three floors and a fourth recessed, is subtly configured in order to give the building an extraordinary dignity and a contemporary character.
The team of Westfourth Architecture, coordinated by architect Vlad Arsene, proposed for the headquarters of the Embassy of Kuwait in Romania a prismatic block, very elegant and rigorously composed. An architectural gesture that denotes a representative building and a well-tempered, present-day monumentality.
The architectural layout distributes in the plan, on the opposite and long sides of the rectangular prism, five interaxes and eight bays, and on the short side four interaxes, the median one also being the place of the main circulation space. Two elevators and a staircase detached from the lateral walls in two symmetrical helical ramps define the spatial identity of the central core.
The ground floor is permeable to the public, while the upper levels contain the embassy offices.
Walking down the boulevard, we notice how the first contact with the ensemble, namely the corten panel enclosure, does not constitute a singular image, but transforms into a subtly dosed triforium, present in the parapets of the balconies and in the elements that cover the glazed surfaces, creating not just a filter for the gaze, but also an exostructure. A mashrabiya? Still, perhaps the corten panels that clothe the whole ensemble are rather the result of the search for an architectural element, part of the language and intelligently interpreted in contemporary key.
The eight bays with voids in suave arcades that are nevertheless strongly pronounced on the vertical recall the fluidity of the telum, the atmosphere of the tents and empathetically allude to the desert, maybe even to Kuwait.
The theme of the triforium is also present in the stone panels, and an entire interior wall, which reveals itself to the eye on double height, expresses its morphologic identity through fine horizontal perforations with semicircular heads.
The main access takes place from Eliade Boulevard and the entrance to the undeground parking is accessed from Primăverii Boulevard.
PROJECT: The Embassy of the State of Kuwait in Romania; ADDRESS: 11 Ion Mincu Street, Bucharest; HEIGHT: 2U+GF+3F, 4R; BUILT AREA: 4 000 mp; ARCHITECTURE: Westfourth Architecture; AUTHOR: arh. Vladimir Arsene; CO-AUTHORS: arh. Călin NEGOESCU, arh. Silviu CHIȚU, arh. Ioana TĂNĂSIE, arh. Tiberius TUDOR, arh. Mihaela VASILESCU, arh. Ștefan CĂTĂLIN; COMPLETED: 2019
Project featured in igloo #193_Big City Lights