Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Arab Fund Building

Tile work by front door
Photo of Atrium & Bridge
Table in the Mamluk Room
Looking up in the Atrium - Antique piece on the right
The Tunesian Room - I loved the vibe in this room
The Damascene room
A spiral staircase with inlaid wood & a gorgeous lighting fixture.  I couldn't do this justice.
Detail of a massive door.
In love with all the lighting in this place.  This one was no exception.
The view up from the Atrium floor
The fountain in the Atrium
My favorite piece of art in the building
It's hard to decide where to begin writing about the Arab Fund Building because there was so much to see & digest in the 2 1/2 hour tour.  This massive building is impressive from the moment you walk through the giant doors that greet you.
Each room we toured was decorated in it's own motif.  All of the rooms have a particular shape or pattern that is carried through out the designs in the lighting fixtures, furniture, & rugs.   Throughout the building are impressive collections of antiques & artwork created by local artists.  The smallest detail does not go unlooked.  In many of the rooms, great care is taken to hide electrical cords, vents & storage areas.  Some highlights include:
  •  The library with its spiral staircase made of inlaid wood leading up to one of the many beautiful chandeliers.
  • The atrium area, which was just massive.  It included tapestries, chandeliers, more antique furniture pieces & a beautiful view of the rooms with glass walls & intricate wood carved paneling.  There was a small fountain in the middle surrounded by trees & birdcages complete with birds.  Here we were served refreshments during the tour.
  • One of my favorite rooms (Mamluk Room)  was completely full of wood carved wall panels, book cases & included the entire ceiling.  The massive table has inlaid mother of pearl shell.  We were told this room is a favorite meeting room for the British embassy.  Some of the wall panels could be moved to fully expose the windows, otherwise light shines though the carvings.
  • One of the first rooms we toured on the first floor had some very intricately designed brass tables with Arabic sayings.  The sign on top that says "No Smoking" also matches. 
  • The doors to every room is an absolutely stunning work of art.
  • What tour takes you to the parking garage?  Yes, even the garage here is impressive & impeccable.  
My "I was there" photo.

For Locals:
They offer tours for small groups so get some of your friends together & go. There is no charge for the tour which includes refreshments & a double DVD set with pictures of the rooms & the artwork. Our tour guide knew so much about the building & its history. He shared his knowledge freely & answered all questions. This is a must see for anyone interested in arts & history, but should be on anyone's list that visits Kuwait.

1 comment:

WW said...

What a gorgeous building.