Tow­ers and Ma­lene Bjotrn

Arab Times - - LOCAL - By Ah­mad al­sar­raf e-mail:­sar­

Iwrote a few days ago about the Getty Foun­da­tion’s de­ci­sion to pre­serve the ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage of the twen­ti­eth cen­tury, spend­ing on main­te­nance of the huge metal plates of Kuwait Tow­ers that cover its en­tire spher­i­cal struc­ture, as they are one of the dis­tinc­tive land­marks in the world.

Some have ques­tioned, of­ten sar­cas­ti­cally, why an Amer­i­can in­sti­tu­tion spent on the main­te­nance of a land­mark be­long­ing to a sup­pos­edly wealthy coun­try? The an­swer is sim­ple, as the Getty Foun­da­tion’s choice of an ed­i­fice that con­sti­tutes a global ap­pre­ci­a­tion and great pub­lic­ity for that coun­try, it is keen to pre­serve the world her­itage, and the choice has noth­ing to do with the poverty or wealth of the coun­try, it is a cul­tural act, not ma­te­rial.

I also men­tioned in the ar­ti­cle that the tow­ers were de­signed by the Dan­ish ar­chi­tect, Ma­lene Björn in 1968. The Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral of the Na­tional Coun­cil for Cul­ture, Arts, and Let­ters (NCCAL) Kamel Al-Abd AlJalil men­tioned that the Getty Foun­da­tion chose the tow­ers among the land­marks of 13 other coun­tries out from the land­marks of 90 coun­tries.

To be hon­est, the re­quest for the grant was made at the time of the for­mer Sec­re­tary-Gen­eral, Ali Al-Youha, and Ab­dul Jalil picked the fruit, with full re­spect for his per­son.

Ma­lene is also an ar­chi­tect, not a man, as I have al­ready men­tioned, for she chose the Kuwait Tow­ers as a trio, over­look­ing the shores of Ara­bian Gulf. These tow­ers were the most beau­ti­ful among a larger group of dis­tinc­tive wa­ter tow­ers that they de­signed for Kuwait, which were built in a dis­tinc­tive style, and can be seen in some ar­eas with their won­der­ful shapes, and most of them were built forty years ago, and the vi­sion of the Kuwait Tow­ers has be­come a tourist or artis­tic poster associated with Kuwait.

Eng. Ma­lene Bjørn stud­ied at the Dan­ish School of De­sign and be­came world renowned with her won­der­ful en­gi­neer­ing works, which included the in­te­ri­ors of the SAS air­craft, the in­te­ri­ors of the Swedish Em­bassy in New Delhi (1955-1956), and the dec­o­ra­tions of the fa­mous Wen­ner-Gren Cen­ter in Copen­hagen, which dates back to 1960.

The late Amir Jaber Al-Ah­mad was sat­is­fied with the de­sign of the Kuwait Tow­ers and ac­cepted it. I be­lieve that this was dur­ing the time of the for­mer Min­is­ter of Elec­tric­ity and Wa­ter, the late En­gi­neer Ab­dul­lah Al-Sharhan, when he was re­spon­si­ble for de­vel­op­ing a new vi­sion for wa­ter projects at the time, and he played a greater role in that, and in es­tab­lish­ing the cur­rent wa­ter net­work.


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