The SSH-designed, USD 775 million, Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre (SJAAC) opened with a performance by legendary tenor singer Andrea Boccelli. The opening ceremony also featured three of the most famous singers in the Middle East, Abdullah Al Rouwaished, Nabil Shoeil and Nawal, in addition to a number of Kuwaiti performances presenting Kuwait’s most famous artists.sjaacc_fireworks_01_cropped

The Centre is a cultural milestone for Kuwait and a world class building for ceremony, celebration and artistic expression, which places the country on the world map for cultural projects. The Centre will host various cultural events including music, theatre, film, workshops and spoken word.

The four jewel-styled buildings are set to be the centrepieces of the new cultural district in central Kuwait, close to historic Flag Square. The buildings will create a new architectural reference for the Middle East. Its technical and multi-functional theatres will also make it one of the state of the art performing venues in the sheikh-jaber-al-ahmad-cultural-centreworld.

SSH’s Executive Partner Sadoon Al Essa and Engineer said, “It was a challenge for us to complete the design and construction of a project of this size and complexity in 22 months. This achievement was made possible by the Amiri Diwan’s intervention in expediting the project and overcoming obstacles.”

SSH’s CEO Bob Hope said of the project, “Successfully delivering this world class project makes me immensely proud of the SSH team. We have designed to the highest international quality standards within such a challenging time frame. I hope that this achievement makes SSH the ‘Consultant of Choice’ and the Region’s ‘Go to Guys’ for future world class cultural and heritage projects.”

SSH was the lead architecture and engineering designer working with the world’s renowned specialists in lighting, acoustics, theatre engineering and historical archives.


SSH worked closely with theatre engineers and acoustic specialists to create multiple performance spaces that are sophisticated in design and engineering. The interior design of these spaces was created to complement the function of each space and capture the soul of each performance while engaging the audience.

“The Amiri Diwan’s enthusiasm and quick understanding of the ideas we proposed helped the concept come to life very quickly, creating an intuitive and rewarding design process for the whole team,” said SSH’s Architecture Director, Simon Dennison.

SSH Kuwait Managing Director George Abi-Hanna, said “SSH is proud to have contributed to the cultural development of the State of Kuwait through the creation of a landmark design which will become part of the Kuwaiti skyline for decades to come”.

Ray Phillips, SSH’s Design Director said: “Culminating in a fabulous fire work display to celebrate the opening of the SJAACC only 22 months from conception was awe inspiring. To work with the Amiri Diwan on this prestigious world class cultural centre has been an honor and a privilege.”

The Cultural Centre includes a performing arts centre, music centre, conference centre, historical documents centre as well as libraries, parks, and fountains.

About SSH:
SSH is one of the leading master planning, infrastructure, building design, construction supervision and project management firms in the Middle East, with a reputation for design integrity and a portfolio that includes landmark projects throughout the region. The firm maintains offices in Abu Dhabi, Algeria, Bahrain, Dubai, Iraq, Kuwait, London, Oman, Qatar and South Africa.

Founded in 1961, we employ over 1000 high-caliber local, regional and international experts in their individual fields, most of whom are from globally-renowned international consultancy firms. We ranked 3rd architecture company in the Middle East amongst the top 100 Architects in the world and number 1 design firm in the culture sector in the World by World Architecture Magazine.

We were also ranked in 92nd place amongst ENR’s Top 225 International Design Firms, the 2nd highest ranking firm in the Middle East in 2016.

SSH’s multifaceted practices include architecture, urban design and planning, structural and civil engineering, MEP/ building services, interior design, highway and bridge engineering, storm water drainage, utility design, sanitary engineering, marine engineering and district cooling, in addition to high-profile project management and construction supervision services.

We have vast experience in a wide range of building types, from residential and commercial, retail and leisure, healthcare, education, high-rise, convention and cultural centres, to theatres and opera houses.

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