Salmiya Palace Hotel

The Palace Hotel in Salmiya immediately caught my eye the first time I saw it and has remained one of my favorite buildings in Kuwait. It was designed by Kuwaiti architect Saleh Al-Mutawa. In his article “In Search for a Local Image in the Arab City,” Omar Khattab from Kuwait University writes that it was Al-Mutawa’s “dream to revive the traditional architecture of Kuwait.” Khattab continues, “Al-Mutawa’s architecture conveys a lost local image” but also notes that others “criticize his work as pastiche and stereotyped decoration of traditional forms.” Some other works by Saleh Al-Mutawa mentioned in Khattab’s article include Bedaa Restaurant and Coffee Shop, a shopping mall in Al-Mubarakiya, and apartment blocks in Salwa and Jabria. Al-Mutawa published a book “The History of Architecture in Old Kuwait City” in 1994 and in ‘97 a book entitled “New Vision in Kuwait” was published about him by Godfrey Goodwin.

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