The Avenues Mall, Kuwait

Project: Decorative ceiling cowlings
Location: The Avenues Mall, Kuwait    
Client: Al Rai Real Estate Co
Architect: Gensler
Engineering Consultant: Pace
Main Contractor: Ahmadiah Contracting
Handover: 2016/2017

With more than 800 stores spread over seven districts, The Avenues Mall in Kuwait is one of the Middle East’s largest retail destinations. To support the ambitious expansion plans in place, architects Gensler envisaged acres of new internal space, with a glazed canopy, and beautifully reflective cowlings suspended from the roof.

To realise the architect’s vision of a perfectly mirrored ceiling, BFG is custom fabricating a set of 192 composite internal panels, designed to be fixed to the main trusses of the roof structure. Manufactured as FRP PET foam sandwich panels using CNC tooling and an open mould hand lay-up process, BFG is to deliver 14 full size cowlings measuring 26 x 12 metres each, and four half size units, totalling 5,120m2. Each unit comprises a perfect jigsaw of 12 smaller panels.

BFG’s key challenge was to achieve a mirrored finish to the cowlings’ large doubly curved surfaces. Using a metal solution would have been astronomically costly, time consuming – and very heavy to suspend. BFG rose to the challenge of applying a specialised mirrored surface to FRP panels on a scale never attempted before, then transporting and installing the panels without the slightest surface damage.

To make it happen, BFG’s process development team worked closely with a specialist coating technology provider from the US and transferred the technology for a patented spray coating system to our plant at Bahrain, mastering a pioneering process that turned FRP sandwich into sculpted chrome finished panels which are fire resistant to BS 476 Part 7 Class 2.