In this episode, Ghadah and I talk about our trip to the Cloth Souq and why it’s one of the places we love in Kuwait.
From the variety of colors and textures to the creative window displays, the Cloth Souq is a terrific place to wander around and be inspired.
In addition to the goods that are being sold there, the architecture is also something to be admired.
Built in the mid-1970s, Souq Safat (the complex that houses the different branches of the Cloth Souq), is an example of extensive in-situ concrete works. One of the main features of the market was its underground parking, which was revolutionary at that time.
My father, architect Kamal Bhuiyan, was the on-site supervisor for the architectural restoration and renovation of Souq Safat after it was damaged in the 1991 war. He shares some of his observations of the market from an architectural perspective, some of which are mentioned in the episode, along with other points that will be further explored in a future episode.
Souq al-Safat, the Safat market, was constructed in 1974. It sits at the heart of the Central Business District of Kuwait City and is an early example of extensive in-situ concrete works. It was a thriving business hub by 1990 and then it was set to fire during the peak of the invasion of Kuwait in 1991.
The main features that made it distinguishable from other structures at that time were:
(1) two basements to accommodate parking of hundreds of cars
(2) three internal courtyards around which shopping and offices were housed
(3) some half a kilometer of shopping arcade on all four sides of the market
(4) offices rented on the mezzanine and other 3 floors above.
The ground-level arcade features arches throughout its length.notes from Kamal Bhuiyan, on-site supervisor for the restoration and renovation of Souq Safat post-1991 invasion