Titanium cladding ensures minimal damage to SSH-designed Kuwait Opera House

Four buildings which form a new cultural centre for Kuwait caught fire soon after completion, but the titanium cladding meant minimal damage.

Initial reports said the SSH-designed Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre would be out of action for months. But the flames were contained and confined to the exterior of the angular buildings.

The design and construction of the $775m project was completed in only 22 weeks, before the blaze struck.

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A spokesperson for the operators said: “The centre is working and our programme ran as scheduled. The titanium material kept the fire away from the interior. There was little damage and no casualties. The design and materials used really did their job in protecting the building.”

The blaze started during maintenance work on the building’s titanium roof, the Kuwaiti Fire Department said.

READ MORE: In pictures: SSH-designed Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre in Kuwait

Footage of firefighters on a crane spraying water on to the building were featured on international news broadcasts.

“The smoke made the fire look more dramatic that it actually was,” said the operators.

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