TUM Kuwait campus concept
The concept behind the Technical University of Munich Kuwait tackles three main design approaches. The first bodies an eco-friendly building that both raises awareness regarding the ongoing struggle against climate change and sets the first stepping stone for a more sustainable mentality in a country of extreme climate. The second approach adheres to the local culture and the Kuwaiti way of life. The third exposes every student into an inter-disciplinary formation at TUM.
Massive palm tree-like shading devices composed of photovoltaic panels store solar energy for air conditioning and delimit the six faculties available at the University. The palm tree being the local emblem gives these devices patriotic values. They become signature elements that define the building’s belonging to the land. Every palm tree continues into a vertical core that takes the students from the underground parking lots straight into the ground floor, first floor and second floor, minimizing walking distances. In a country like Kuwait, the intense climate does not allow for outdoor pedestrian circulation. Therefore, the whole campus is interconnected via bridges and common halls in a way to keep the whole space constantly air-conditioned. The classrooms and programs are laid out similar to old traditional Arabic cities where the buildings are closely adjacent to one another.
As a result, all functions act as a communal shading system that does not allow direct sunlight to hit the various facades. Along with the main palm tree shades that generate the energy required for the air cooling systems, the campus’s architecture develops into a sustainable system that forever maintains a low carbon footprint. Internally, the use of glass as the main space divider inside allows transparency between functions and circulation paths. The plan exposes the circulating students to the various activities happening simultaneously in all areas of the campus.