There’s an strange place in Qortuba, Block 1. It’s a sort of dead space that came as a result of awkward road planning. The space is mostly asphalt now, and has a small two level shopping block and a mosque. The houses adjacent to it have started to use the land as a sort of private, gated gardens and parking.
I think there’s huge potential here. The area is very dense, probably one of the densest residential neighborhoods in Kuwait. Most of the families living there have several generations living in one house. What if we develop this land into a dense, mixed use development?
I can imagine something with massive underground parking and a porous, outdoor ground level that has tree-lined pathways, shops, gardens, a daycare center, etc. The entire ground level is walkable. There are no streets for cars. You enter either by walking to it or driving underneath it to park your car. It would be sort of an old school Kuwaiti neighborhood, with narrow streets and high (three level) buildings for shade.
The idea is that the second and third floors would be apartments for young Kuwaitis. It would provide such a different lifestyle to the one that most are used. You can simply walk out of the house and meander through the lively scene underneath you, go for a walk through the gardens, walk to the mosque, drop your kids off in the daycare center and maybe go to a restaurant owned by a Kuwaiti chef next to the bookshop. There is such a huge demand for these kinds of spaces where young Kuwaitis can feel free to live and work in safe environments that are close to their families.
The image above is a quick 5 minute sketch I made in Photoshop (content aware fill is magic!) and is trying to show the density of the development, so ignore the ‘design’. It’s a huge space, almost 40,000m2. There are so many win-win opportunities in Kuwait, and this is a great example of one of them. There’s demand, the land is there, so why not do it?