Cultrual - Kayan Al Seef - KAYAN Al Seef - KAYAN

Type: Private/Cultural

Location: AlShaab, Kuwait

Plot Area: 500 sqm

Status: Completed in 2010

Completed in 2010, Diwan Hayat is a salute to the traditions and culture of Kuwait. Located in Al-Shaab area, south east of Kuwait City, Diwan Hayat is a 500 sqm. Diwaniya composed of three major design components which include a Courtyard, Liwan (arcade), and Diwaniyas (Reception Halls).

Responding to the vernacularism of Kuwait and the traditional Diwaniya, the building is broken up into outdoor and indoor spaces, strongly keeping in mind the local environment.

On the inside, the Diwan consists of two main halls, a centralized courtyard at the main entrance, and a sunken garden in the basement level. Both courtyards function as outdoor gathering spaces, providing day lighting, and allowing for natural ventilation. On the upper floor, a library is situated in the center of the plan to maximize both the view of the central courtyard and the sunken garden in the basement.

Traditional architectural elements and materials were used to help create this mixture of vernacular and modern design. The gates of the Diwan are made up of the traditional Mashrabiya, serving as a privacy barrier to the Diwan. An arcade, Liwan, was designed to create shade for the central courtyard. The use of wood as a traditional affable material can be seen on the Main Reception Doors, for the Mashrabiyas, Steel was used as an alternative to wood for durability. These light materials were contrasted with the use of sturdy Egyptian stone which clads the exterior in both smooth and rough finishes, fortifying the Diwan’s position as a grand and established social place of gathering.

Preserving the Kuwaiti traditions and adding a modern twist to it, Diwan Hayat is a modern day archetypal Diwaniya.