STUDIO TOGGLE ARCHITECTS
Photos courtesy of Gijo Paul George
Mixed Tenure Housing and Buildings
The ‘Edges Apartments’, with its articulated brick cladded façade, lights up one of the back-streets of the predominantly expat neighborhood of Salmiya, in Kuwait.
A simple rhythmic twist, achieved by transposition of the vertices on either side of a finite axis imparts dynamism and drama to the façade. A very restrained palette of locally sourced natural brick and exposed concrete finish further emphasizes the massing and gives the building its unique personality.
The challenge for the Architects was to give the building an instantly recognizable identity at the same time respecting an extremely restrictive budget. Functionality and serviceability were also as important. The building had to withstand the unforgiving summer heat of Kuwait made unbearable also by the occasional dust/sand storm.
The fired brick cladding acts as an effective thermal protection as well as being hardy enough, along with the exposed concrete finishes, to withstand the harsh desert climate. The major windows are recessed to block out the direct sun and Aluminum louvers are employed wherever possible to reduce the heat gain and the glare.
These small but calculated steps along with the rhythmic façade makes the Edges Apartments stand out amongst the rows of expat housing in the area.
STUDIOTOGGLE is a young Architectural Practice based in Kuwait. The Practice was formed in 2011 in Vienna, Austria by Architects Hend Almatrouk and Gijo Paul George, both graduates of the acclaimed University of Applied Arts, Vienna (dieAngewandte). STUDIOTOGGLE aims to combine digital form finding and engineering techniques with an ethical and sustainable architectural practice. The office specializes in finding logical design solutions using cutting edge technologies, be it in the fields of Architecture, Interior or Product Design.
Instead of developing a stylistic agenda, STUDIOTOGGLE prefers to approach the fundamental issues of Light, Proportion and Form based on their combined effect on the senses of each individual who occupies the said Space. Always striving towards achieving a purity of geometry and form, STUDIOTOGGLE is restrained in the use of functional ornamentation but does not eschew it.
Operating in Kuwait since 2012, Studio Toggle has delivered 2 completed projects and 4 more projects are under various stages of construction.
Edges Apartments – Salmiya, Kuwait – 2015
Pneumatic Grove, National library of Kuwait – Kuwait
Lantern House – Al Salaam, Kuwait – 2014
Project work in progress:
Project F.L.O.T, – Al Bidaa, Kuwait
Villa Matrouk – Al Yarmouk, Kuwait
6zag – Al Bidaa, Kuwait
T3rnion – Al Bidaa, Kuwait
Lumo7 – Funaitees, Kuwait
Vortex – Al Yarmouk, Kuwait
Project Mesa – Abu Fatira, Kuwait
Njw – Maidan Hawally, Kuwait
Project selected for Archmarathon: EDGES APARTMENTS