- Architect: Rawan Muqaddas
- Drawing Assistance: Melis Ugurlu
- City: Kuwait City
- Country: Kuwait
Text description provided by the architects. The young ceramicist behind From Mud felt a need for the therapeutic and magical art of clay sculpting in the heart of Kuwait City; this was how the space came to be. Sitting comfortably on the first floor of a 1967 Modernist building in Kuwait City’s textile market, the zen workspace draws inspiration and texture from the beautiful craft of clay and its simplicity. The studio’s holistic approach is conveyed through clean lines and a soothing palette that reflects the binding theory behind the studio’s own ethos.
The inception of From Mud started with the observation of the movements taking place while creating with clay; from the ceramist’s own motion to the fluid lines formed by the clay itself. One of the most inviting features is the light distribution that mimics the building’s concrete façade and casts uncomplicated shadows on the space, allowing privacy through the fluted glass. As a continuation of the façade itself, the perimeter shelving’s combination of steel and maple wood creates a calm and functioning environment that reinforces the young potter’s mission of making clay art accessible to everyone.
The Brief - From Mud is a design studio with clay as its medium. The brief was to give structure to a space of discovery, research, and creation where all levels of skill can come in to create a finished piece to take home. The requirements included storage and shelving that corresponds to the daily routine of the ceramicist, a kiln room, a semi-private office, and a lounge area.
Key challange - Optimize the space to create maximum storage and efficiency.
Key products used - Solid and veneered maple wood sourced from Malaysia that was fabricated on and off-site by local craftsmen. Stainless steel, powder-coated metal adjustable shelving system and brackets, and fluted glass. The emphasis on light was key throughout the design phase as the importance of natural and adequate light while crafting clay was in question. By interpreting the building façade into the rhythm of the perimeter shelving, you begin to see the interplay and juxtaposition of the facade's shadows against the interior at different times of the day. The fluted glass was then introduced to create translucency and allow for privacy where needed.
Client - Aisha Al-Saif, a Kuwait-based ceramicist who felt a need for the therapeutic space in the heart of Kuwait City. Her mission is to make design through clay accessible to all through teaching different techniques from throughout history and around the globe.
Project particularity - Kuwait’s textile market, widely known as ‘blokat’, is seeing a wave of regeneration where creative initiatives such as From Mud are inhabiting such spaces.
In an urban sense, the building From Mud calls home was once the largest shopping center in the city. It defined a new and modern urban environment functioning as a covered market. Today, we see the retail vendors have remained on street level, however, the upper floors have fallen tired. Spaces such as From Mud, are shifting the urban fabric and introducing young energy bringing an audience up into rather neglected spaces. The façade of the building is protected from Kuwait’s harsh sun by concrete plates that one cannot help but imagine as a reflection of the fabric palettes sold downstairs. This was translated into the adjustable shelving in the interior as an ode to the exterior.