Kuwait Towers is a group of three slender towers in Kuwait City, standing on a promontory into the Persian Gulf. They were officially inaugurated on 26 February 1977 and are rated as a landmark and symbol of modern Kuwait.
The main tower is 187 metres high and carries two spheres. The lower sphere holds in its bottom half a water tank of 4,500 cubic meters and in its upper half a restaurant for 90 persons, a café, a lounge and a reception hall. The upper sphere which rises to 123 metres above the sea level and completes a full turn every 30 minutes holds a café. The second tower is 147 metres high and serves as a water tower. The third tower houses equipment to control the flow of electricity and illuminates the two larger towers. The towers hold 9,000 cubic metres of water altogether. Although there are three towers, the structure is often referred to as Kuwait Tower in singular.
Kuwait Towers were designed by the Danish architect Malene Björn as part of a water distribution project, run by the Swedish engineering company VBB (since 1997 “Sweco“). Chief architect of the company Sune Lindström erected five groups of his typical “mushroom” water towers, the Kuwait Water Towers, but the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed, wanted a more attractive design for the sixth site. Out of ten different designs, three were presented to the Amir, who chose this one.
Projecting of Kuwait Towers was done by VBB, who commissioned the actual building task to the Energoprojekt company of Belgrade, Yugoslavia. The towers were build in reinforced concrete and prestressed concrete. Building was executed in 1971-1976 and the main tower was opened to the public on 1 March 1979.
Approximately 41,000 enamelled steel discs cover the three spheres in eight shades of blue, green and gray, recalling the tiled domes of historic mosques. The discs are arranged in spiral patterns around the spheres. According to the architect, the Kuwait Tower group refers to ideals of humanity and technology, symbolised by the globe and the rocket. Kuwait Towers were, together with the Kuwait Water Towers, awarded the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (1980 Cycle). During the First Gulf War 1990-1991, the towers were damaged and during 2012 they were being repaired.