Design Middle East February 2021

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SPECIAL EDITION FEBRUARY 2021

THE FUTURE OF CITIES and the promise of Green Urbanism

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Influential Architects in the MENA

Recognising and saluting the leaders in architecture for being creative, different, and progressive. Everytime!

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Interiors and Architecture from the Gulf, Levant and Beyond


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COVER STORY

MENA'S TOP INFLUENTIAL ARCHITECTS

Recognising the top most influential architects in the Middle East and North Africa region

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SHAUN KILLA DESIGN PARTNER, KILLA DESIGN

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INTERVIEW GROHE puts spotlight on health

SITE VISIT Say Watt?

URBAN PLANNING The future of cities and the promise of green urbanism

Patrick Speck, Leader LIXIL Global Design EMENA at GROHE talks about the importance of health, well-being, and sustainability in the hospitality sector 16

TALKING POINT Light matters Francois Jarrossay, co-founder of Lumen At Work, talks about the future of the lighting industry

Heriot-Watt’s new campus at Dubai Knowledge Village is ultramodern, high-tech and boasts state-of-the-art amenities, to say the least

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FEBRUARY 2021

Contents 1

We consider different scenarios from the Middle East, designed to address the future of urban living

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INTERVIEW Pathfinder Elie Mrad, Head of Architecture and Design at Arada, talks green spaces, people, and how the two intersect to create harmonious living

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REVIEW Art Deco luxury Sofitel Dubai the Obelisk: When French art de vivre meets ancient Egyptian heritage in the heart of Dubai

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ncharm. charm.





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Editor's note

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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ur February edition is a special one, as we are presenting the 'Top 30 Architects' in the region, who are celebrated for being creative, different, and innovative. We had an amazing time putting together this ultimate list and saluting the top guns in the architecture industry. The listing is based on the business, achievements, design and sustainability, and projects. We are also gearing up for our Design Forum and Architecture Leaders Awards coming up in March 2021. Stay tuned for more information! This is a power-packed issue, there are some other exciting reads as well - Patrick Speck, Leader LIXIL Global Design EM ENA, GROHE, talks about the importance of well-being, and sustainability in the hospitality sector; we also have

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Francois Jarrossay in conversation from Lumen At Work as he decodes the future of the lighting industry.

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Amazon has unveiled the latest look at its second headquarters in northern Virginia: the standout feature of the design proposal for HQ2 includes a unique structure, dubbed “The Helix.” The shape of the building is meant to resemble a double helix and touches on “humanity’s innate connection to nature,” according to architecture firm NBBJ, which is designing the structure. The Helix will serve as an alternative workspace for Amazon employees, but will also be open to the public on some weekends each month, similar to the “Spheres,” the natureinspired centerpiece of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

Headquarters Helix

Creative, bold, and intriguing: London Dairy bistro by Bishop Design wBishop Design delivers London Dairy bistro at ONE Tower in JLT, Dubai. They inhabited two levels of space that the client wished to be visually engaging, cosy, comfortable, and young which would elevate an authentic representation of the brand. Barista, fresh

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The Helix, combined with three other office buildings at the site, called PenPlace, would create roughly 2.8 million square feet of office space. Amazon has also set aside more than 2.5 acres of open spaces that are accessible to the public. There’s an amphitheater designed for outdoor concerts, farmers’ markets and other activities, as well as public green space. If the plans receive approval from Arlington County, the company hopes to begin construction on the Helix and other office buildings on the site in 2022. Construction is expected to be complete in 2025.

produce, and bakery offerings were to be celebrated throughout. The final design for the London Dairy Cafe perfectly sets the tone for the brand moving forward. A vibrant spin on the traditional, the design moves away from their outdated colour palettes of blue and gold into more rustic tones with pops of green in natural vegetation forms. A series of light and airy corners energised with funky details. Suspended pendant lights playfully hang at different levels accentuating the dining tables. Furniture became an opportunity to explore with colour pops. A particular highlight is a view from the Mezzanine level as guests enjoy the emerging patterns, greenery and dynamic lines as part of their visual experience. Artwork executed by Art Painting Lab is also an integral feature revealing subliminal messaging throughout the space, as well as the main graphic which portrays a narrative rooted in coffee styled in the form of a botanical garden. The venue has a great presence with its minimalistic chic interiors and strong visual character that’s both whimsically charming yet breathes a subtle refinement. Perfectly responsive to the brief in the creation of an on-brand aesthetic that appeals to the target market and can now be franchised globally, this project is a perfect representation of success within the hospitality industry.


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Ecopark Stadium by Zaha Hadid Architects The first carbon neutral, all wood stadium The English Football League has approved proposals by Forest Green Rovers to move into the 5,000-seat all-timber football stadium designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. When completed, Ecopark Stadium will become the new home of Forest Green Rovers Football Club with important new facilites for its local community. With the team's community and supporters at its core, fans will be as close as five meters from the pitch. The stadium's continuous spectator bowl will maximise matchday atmosphere and incorporate the club's future growth. Establishing a holistic vision for the site, Ecopark Stadium will embody low carbon construction methods and operational processes and will be the first all wood football stadium - with almost every element made of sustainably sourced timber. As a building material, laminated timber is highly durable, safe and recycable. Dale Vince, chariman of the club, explained to Sky

Sports TV: "From an environmnet point of view, 75% of the carbon fooprint of all sadia comes from the materials they're made from. It's not about the energy used to run them, it's embedded on day one. We'll have the lowest carbon footprint of any stadium anywnere in the world since the Romans invented concrete."

Render by MIR

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10 News

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

An example of the Baupore tall, allglass revolving door being introduced in the Middle East, showcased on the Torre Europa building in Europe

Bauporte Gulf launches tallest all-glass automatic revolving doors in the Middle East European entrance system specialist Bauporte Gulf has announced the launch of its oversized, automatic revolving doors in the Middle East – the tallest all-glass, revolving door option available in the region. At five metres tall, the one-of-a-kind, all-glass revolving doors are almost double the height of a standard revolving door. They have been introduced by Bauporte Gulf to fill the gap in the market for high impact and seamless entrance façades for commercial buildings, such as office blocks, hotels and museums. Bauporte Gulf’s entire revolving door range is custom-designed and tailor-made for each client and incorporates light-weight stainless steel frames, together with a revolutionary, single-operator, drive system to improve energy efficiency. The new oversized, revolving door range now available in the Middle East features all-glass, revolving door product options suited to modern and futuristic building designs.

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However, other models featuring wood finishes or embedded lighting systems are also available and are custom-made at Bauporte’s European manufacturing plant in Germany. All width and height variants are also available. PBauporte Gulf works closely with architects to ensure form and function of every door produced are fully customised and aligned with a building’s specific character, creating a cohesive effect consistent with the original design theme. Upcoming Middle East projects for the company include a national pavilion project commissioned by a European government body at Dubai Expo Park and an iconic, futuristic museum project located on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. The company also offers its services to clients throughout the region and also designs and manufactures integrated pass doors, such as automatic pivot, swing, and sliding doors in a range of styles.


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Interview

GROHE PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON HEALTH AND WELL-BEING Patrick Speck

The Leader LIXIL Global Design EMENA at GROHE talks about the importance of health, well-being, and sustainability in the hospitality sector

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ESSENCE E INFRA-RED ELECTRONIC BASIN TAP

What are the consumer’s new expectations in the pandemic context in terms of hygiene and how can a brand like GROHE fulfill those needs? Touching surfaces is not an attractive option anymore. With our wide range of touchless and hands-free products, like the infra-red faucet GROHE Essence E or the kitchen faucet GROHE SmartControl, we have the right response to this increased need of hygiene as they minimise the risk of spreading germs and cross-contamination. How do you see this shift towards hygiene and well-being affecting the hospitality sector? The COVID-19 pandemic has highly affected the hospitality sector considering travel restrictions and safety measures that were imposed in many countries around the world. People are eager to be able to travel again, but in the new normal, travellers and guests are prioritising safety and hygiene when choosing their accommodation creating new needs that hotels will have to meet.

Do you think the design of the hotels needs to change as well? If yes, then how? Yes, adaptation is a must. GROHE is mapping out how improved architecture and design can help tackle current hygiene challenges. Particular attention with regard to these requirements is paid to areas like hotel bathrooms, public washrooms, and spas. Touchless faucets, controlled by an infrared sensor, can be a good alternative to make hand-washing more hygienic. Thanks to the activation of the water flow by just holding the hands under the spout, the spread of germs and cross-contamination are minimised.

FEBRUARY 2021

ESSENCE E INFRA-RED ELECTRONIC WALL BASIN TAP WITHOUT MIXING DEVICE

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COVID-19 has changed our thinking process like never making health and well-being a priority. What kind of transformation can you see at GROHE and in your industry? The year 2020, has left a major impact on many industries across the world, especially the industry of hygiene and sanitisation. People are looking to recreate well-being experiences in the comfort of their homes while ensuring the highest hygiene standards. At GROHE, we can say that we are already experiencing a higher demand for our hygiene enhancing products – from both our private and business customers.

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Well-being has become a global movement. How do you define this? This can be defined by the fact that consumers want to take good care of their health and well-being to live better lives, that are also more sustainable and better for the environment. Especially now, the bathroom is understood as a deliberate contrast to the hectic world outside, it has become an oasis of well-being, a personal retreat for body and soul. This goes hand-in-hand with the fact that consumers expect more from their bathroom products: they should create precisely those special moments.

What kind of offerings from GROHE can lead to the well-being of guests at hotels and how can technology play a vital role here? Intelligent technology is increasingly used in the hospitality sector to guarantee a clean and comfortable space. But I believe technology is an enabler and not a solution itself. We need to ask what the purpose is and how it is going to impact our customer’s lives. >>> design-middleeast.com


14 Inteview

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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For example, using GROHE’s infra-red and touchless technologies in a public space like a hotel gym can have a great impact on the consumer journey and the hotel’s offering as these technologies minimize cross-contamination, from the faucet to the shower to the toilet, creating a more hygienic and comfortable experience for guests who still seek to use the health and fitness facilities available at hotels.

SmartControl Kitchen

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"GROHE is mapping out how improved architecture and design can help tackle current hygiene challenges. Particular attention with regard to these requirements is paid to areas like hotel bathrooms, public washrooms, and spas." What is your business strategy in this regard? For decades, we have supported designers and architects and equipped hotels with high-quality fittings, showers, and sanitary systems. For each hotel category we have the perfect product to meet the highest standards based on our brand pillars quality, technology, design and sustainability. With new hygiene measures being rolled out, intelligent architectural concepts are playing a key role in improving consumer health and safety, especially in public spaces such as lavatories, offices, or restaurants. Developing

touchless products to improve hygiene in sensitive areas like these is not a new topic – we offer this portfolio for private and public settings since years. We aim to continue growing this portfolio, living up to our reputation as a pioneering brand in the sanitary industry. How do you see the future of hospitality? Despite the unprecedented circumstances witnessed by the hospitality sector this past year, it still remains resilient in the face of these new challenges. Today there are countless actions adapted to each market, considering the

severity of what is happening. The first thing the sector must do is transmit a message of security and normality. We have a pipeline of almost 600 new developments in the hospitality sector in the MENA, of which 46 are within the UAE. This shows how the sector is succeeding in taking action towards creating this sense of normality and as GROHE, we have a great responsibility towards our partners to support them in acquiring the latest innovations and technologies in hygiene that guarantee a state-of-the-art offering to their guests.


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16 Talking point

FRANCOIS JARROSSAY ALTRACK MAGENET

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

Light matters The co-founder of Lumen At Work talks about the future of the lighting industry

From what you’re seeing in the industry as a whole, what does the future of lighting look like?

Unfortunately, not enough clients are conscious of the role of lighting in their project. We believe it is necessary to partner with a good lighting company because it can save the client’s time and money. For example, in retail, the role of lighting is crucial, given that a well-lit up shop adds to the interior, which can increase sales and improve the customer journey. Who are you reaching out to primarily?

With the ongoing progress of LED technology, the future of lighting looks extremely exciting. With the internet of things and human-centric lighting, there are many new applications to come, including lighting control systems.

We would like to work with end-clients, interior designers, fit-out contractors, property developers. When you build a project for yourself, you are more concerned about the quality of the design and the materials you will use.

Can you talk about the changes that will take place because of COVID-19 in the lighting segment?

How important is sustainability in lighting?

COVID-19 has forced all manufacturers to search and propose solutions to address this crisis, which has brought about a change in the lighting segment. At Lumen, we have developed a luminaire which uses UV-C LED to disinfect spaces as it is very efficient against viruses. We are also working on a pilot project with Paris Airports to use UV-C disinfection in public toilets as well as elevator cabins. design-middleeast.com

Are people/clients paying enough attention to the lighting in general?

With the LED era, the lighting industry made a giant step into sustainability, but still, some products are not designed with a sustainable approach. There are many sustainable factors to take care of from a lighting design point of view. For example, energy efficiency, light pollution, the lighting density, the use of lighting controls such as sensors and much more. However, at Lumen, the recyclability, the lifetime, the modularity is something we take care of a lot.


What does the future hold for light and connectivity?

Many people are working on LIFI applications these days. LIFI is a way to transmit data through light, but we are really at the beginning of it because it requires so many changes in infrastructures and building practices to be used everywhere.

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Dialux is used by the majority of lighting specialists all over the world. It is a great software to plan the lighting of your project. It helps to ensure the project’s compliance with standards, and for us, at Lumen it is a way to use lighting sustainably by optimising the quantity of light.

"LIFI IS A WAY TO TRANSMIT DATA THROUGH LIGHT, BUT WE ARE REALLY AT THE BEGINNING OF IT BECAUSE IT REQUIRES SO MANY CHANGES IN INFRASTRUCTURES AND BUILDING PRACTICES TO BE USED EVERYWHERE."

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Can you tell us more about the Dialux software?

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What are the projects you are currently doing in the region and any expansion plans you can tell us?

We have several ongoing projects and recently just finished a recycling factory project which was challenging. We now have a new customer on board who is trusting us for the design and supply of lighting for his concepts of eyewear outlets. Lumen is growing each day and getting recognition. All our new customers usually end up becoming recurring clients. Having said that, our plan for 2021, is to keep expanding locally as well as in the European market, which also seems to appreciate our value for money positioning. design-middleeast.com


18 Site visit

Say Watt? HERIOT-WATT’S BRAND-NEW CAMPUS AT DUBAI KNOWLEDGE VILLAGE IS ULTRAMODERN, HIGH-TECH AND BOASTS STATE-OF-THE-ART AMENITIES TO SAY THE LEAST. DESIGN MIDDLE EAST TAKES A TOUR OF THE NEW FACILITY. PHOTOGRAPHY ALEXANDER BUNGAS

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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WORDS JOCHEBED MENON

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ver the past two decades, Dubai has attracted several universities of international repute as it aims to create a multi-cultural, dynamic, and global educational environment. Educational institutes from around the world having seen the potential the emirate has to offer, set up campuses in the city. The Scottish university Heriot-Watt was among the firsts to set foot into Dubai. It established its first overseas campus in Dubai – Dubai Academic City to be

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precise – in 2005. At that point of time, it had a capacity to serve 120 students which then increased to 2,000 in five years. There has been no stopping after that. In 2019, the university put into motion, plans it had to move the campus to a bigger and more digital-enhanced facility to offer students a better quality of education with world-class amenities. By December of the same year, the tendering process began. Khansaheb won the bid for fit out on the new campus at Dubai Knowledge Village.

A NEW CONCEPT Bryn Jones, Deputy Vice Principal, Heriot-Watt University, who was part of the design team, stated that Khansaheb, being a leading construction firm in the UAE, was able to materialise the plans Heriot-Watt had for its new campus. “Heriot-Watt is one of the biggest and slightly better reputed international universities in Dubai. What we were looking for was a campus that made that character manifest. It is a different sort of campus from traditional universities - which have buildings spread across the grounds. We got something quite different, quite exciting. It is a vertically stacked campus where we divide the floors by theme and function rather than who owns them. We have no signs indicating the departments. The spaces are there for everyone to use if they are the right spaces for them. The first and second floors are student spaces learning, classrooms, a library, a social space, and common areas. Third floor is where our staff will sit. The fourth floor is designated to the design and architecture subjects. The fifth floor will house support education and the sixth floor is where our laboratories are - primarily for engineering subjects. One of the briefs given to Khansaheb was to have digitally enhanced features. Even before the advent of the pandemic, as a university we were on a journey toward a more digitally supported learning experience. We have fitted in recording studios, it was always our plan to allow academics to have a facility to record lectures, long clips, and digital materials,” he expounds. INCORPORATING DIGITAL LEARNING Since the pandemic, Heriot-Watt has been offering students blended learning choices. Bryn adds: “Our students, anywhere in the world, can choose to study on campus or online; so that digital element that we have built into the building is far reaching and future proofing. A lot of the components we have implemented over the last year will become


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"WHAT WE WERE LOOKING FOR WAS A CAMPUS THAT MADE THAT CHARACTER MANIFEST. IT IS A DIFFERENT SORT OF CAMPUS FROM TRADITIONAL UNIVERSITIES - WHICH HAVE BUILDINGS SPREAD ACROSS THE GROUNDS. WE GOT SOMETHING QUITE DIFFERENT, QUITE EXCITING."

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curement rules, and as Khansaheb, we have an incredibly detailed health and safety and welfare management plans in place, which all helped us demonstrate our capability of systems and processes such as our in-house resources - interiors joinery, MEP and metals. These aligned with what Heriot-Watt were looking for. The original development was designed to be commercial offices and it had to be converted into a campus. It was an interesting idea, and we were keen to win it. We are extremely proud to have been selected and entrusted by Heriot-Watt to complete the fit out of their new campus.”

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

part of the new normal. It is part of our directives to support digital education journey right from the start. It has been a very steep learning curve, but I am confident that the team we have now is an excellent position to get the most out of the facility that we have provided them, which are amazing. What we really have in this new campus, which we really have not had access to in Dubai, is the large areas where students can learn, which are not classrooms. It is going to be an amazing campus for us and a forward-looking facility. We have quite a few interesting spaces for academics to teach - very nontraditional spaces which is exciting.” Heriot-Watt staff and students are scheduled to move into the new campus by March and April, thanks to the collaborative efforts all of the teams involved.

HURDLES AND CHALLENGES Work on the site began in April 2020 with large volumes of demolition work carried out. This was just one of the challenges the team faced. Jamie Otto, Senior Project Manager, Khansaheb explains: “The initial challenge was the huge amounts of demolition that had to be done to clear the development. We took out more than 1,800 tonnes of material, for which we had to set up an external hoist on the building as we could not get all the demolition waste internally through the lifts. We pulled out the windows and put a hoist up outside with access to each floor. Then we built a two-tier system that allowed demolition to be removed from the upper level straight onto tipper trucks, and the lower level was then used to bring in

FEBRUARY 2021

Bryn Jones, Deputy Vice Principal, Heriot-Watt University

KEY FEATURES Khansaheb was able to implement Heriot-Watt’s vision by comprehending what was needed of it on the project. Right from the beginning, a dedicated team was put together to understand what the key drivers for the client were. Ross Trivett, General Manager- Interiors and Joinery, Khansaheb, walks us though the steps: “It was a very formal tender process under the Scottish prodesign-middleeast.com


20 Site visit

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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Jamie Otto, Senior Project Manager, Khansaheb

materials into the building.” >>> Another obstacle the team faced was the lack of available lifts to transport labour across the project. “A major challenge was that the development was a shell and core facility. The base build contactor was still on site when we commenced the fit-out work. They were here doing various snagging and commissioning works, and one of the commissioning items not complete was the elevators. We planned to use the lifts to transport materials and labour up and down the floors. It was a top-down construction and begun with the demolition from the top. When COVID crept in, all the restrictions started coming in, we had to limit the labour onsite and, in the elevators, to maintain social distancing. It became a bit of a challenge as we did not have all the elevators available and, we also had to reduce the number of labour that could use the elevator at a time. The huge volume of men we were trying to move on the project for the demolition works just got hindered by COVID. We had to re-sequence the process, we started demolition on the lower floors to save us having to transport men to level six,” Ross illustrates. Nonetheless, work progressed as planned regardless of the hurdles. The

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contract also presented Khansaheb with other unique characteristics. One such being the exposed services on the acoustic ceiling. Jamie elaborates: “We had 11,000 sqm of exposed acoustic ceiling that was installed prior to the MEP services being installed. That created a challenge as we had to install the services and not damage the finished ceiling. All the MEP work comes on through the threaded rods so we tried to plan as much as we could to work on the joints of the ceilings. It required a lot of coordination.”

A POSITIVE OUTCOME Khansaheb’s exceptional work ethics and professional conduct not only ensured the project is on target towards delivery and completed on time to an exceptionally high quality, but it has also achieved a million-man hours accident free. Ross credits the success to the firm’s internal resources and capabilities. With most of the work being done during the pandemic, Khansaheb has not reported a single positive case of the virus among its labour on the site. Ross attributes it to the stringent health, safety, and wellbeing policy of the company. “A lot of preventive measures were put in place right from conducting safety trainings to limiting capacity on our buses transporting operatives to and from the site to camp as well as socially distancing on site. A lot of activities had to be re-sequenced for their health and safety. We also had to phase breaks for the labour, so we did not have too many operatives in the welfare facility at the same time. We had to maintain social distancing spots all over the floor and ensure they were not congregating at one area. A two-metre distance is always maintained. We installed hand-sanitisation stations all over the place and we have continuous cleaning of high touch points - on transport, on site and at the camps.”


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IN NUMBERS

18,000sqm campus, comprising G + 6 floors

74.4

tonnes of MEP strip out pipes and ducts

3.3

tonnes of metal scrap

1,804

tonnes of demolition waste

- Ross Trivett

A JOINT EFFORT Real estate advisors, JLL, who have been the consultants on the project, have had a positive experience on the project.

In closing, Ross said: “We have achieved great success on this project due to a collaborative effort by the project team,

The new campus is on target to achieve a LEED gold certification

JLL, BDP [the architects] and Hoare Lea [MEP Consultant]. It’s been a fantastic team effort with all parties focused from the outset towards achieving successful delivery of the project.” “We had an extremely specific vision for our new campus – it would be digitally enabled, address the education requirements of the future and create a learning environment that is collaborative – and we felt Khansaheb was best positioned to deliver this. It was also important that our appointed contractor be committed to the welfare of the staff that would work on our site, something Khansaheb was able to very clearly demonstrate, along with being a financially stable, family run, local business. The new campus is proof of our commitment to deliver high quality education and research in Dubai. We are delighted to see our vision brought to life.”

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We signed the contract in April 2020, and it has been a quick construction period for such a large space, and during a pandemic. We worked together as a team to get around issues and do things as one. I think that's paid off and we'll be handing over the project very soon.” JLL has provided Heriot-Watt a full suite of services from project development services to strategic consulting, project asset management, cost management and sustainability services.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

"THE ORIGINAL DEVELOPMENT WAS DESIGNED TO BE COMMERCIAL OFFICES AND IT HAD TO BE CONVERTED INTO A CAMPUS. IT WAS AN INTERESTING IDEA, AND WE WERE KEEN TO WIN IT. "

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Ross Trivett, General Manager- Interiors and Joinery, Khansaheb

Lynda Johnstone, Global Director of Estates and Facilities, Heriot-Watt University

Paul Ludlam, Director, Head of Fit Out UAE, JLL Project & Development Services, said: “Working with Khansaheb and the design team has been an excellent experience. It has been a collaborative project with a brilliant partnership from all the teams involved. design-middleeast.com


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Interview

Pathfinder ELIE MRAD

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

Arada’s Head of Architecture and Design talks green spaces, people, and how the two intersect to create harmonious living

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What is the design intent behind your new project, Masaar? Arada’s third project, Masaar is a mega community in the Al Juwaiza’a district of New Sharjah, which has a sales value of AED8 billion. The 19 million square foot upscale project will include 4,000 villas and townhouses in total, all set in eight gated districts. Masaar provides the residents of Sharjah with high-quality community living in harmony with nature. The concept of the masterplan is to create a gated residential community of single and multi-family villas and townhouses floating in green lush environment. Meaning ‘path’ in Arabic, Masaar is designed to be conduit that leads to the creation of a lifetime of memorable experiences for the residents as a child, a parent, and a family.

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What sort of facilities will be included to bring this design intent to life? With the aim of creating a communitycentric development, a green spine has been shaped to link the multiple communities at Masaar. The spine has been programmed with passive and active spaces. As a result, the forested spaces at Masaar will contain a mix of an active pedestrian network and a passive forest environment. The design ensures the creation of activities that are well-integrated and respectful of nature, while also catering to the residents in every phase of their lives. The focal point of Masaar is a forested heart featuring an experience centre, a Zad food truck district, a full-service fitness centre, a skatepark, a children’s adventure playground and an events space. Masaar’s community centre will contain an anchor supermarket, shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as a wide variety of services to cater to residents’ day-to-day needs. Also included in the Masaar masterplan is a large international school and nursery, located to the north side of the project. One of Masaar’s main attractions will be a five-kilometre looped and continuous two-lane cycling track that will be able to cater to leisure riders as well as professionals. Residents and visitors from outside the community will be able to ride through lush woodlands, with resting spots and healthy cafes located adjacent to the track. Through these amenities and the green spine, Masaar ensures a balanced active and passive residential environment. This will benefit residents’ health and wellbeing, giving them a sense of belonging to the place. >>>

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At Masaar’s very first community, Sendian, you’ll find yourself out of the house more, spending time with your favourite people, creating moments to cherish and remember. From two bedroom townhouses to majestic five bedroom Sendian Park Villas, all units come with smart home features as standard and have direct access to lush green parks.

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Masaar boasts a range of four and five bedroom Sendian Park Villas, which are some of the most desirable homes in Sharjah. All these homes provide an impressive independent living area, all housed within a lush environment.

How does your design intent extend to the houses at Masaar? At Masaar, every home is designed to bring the surrounding lush gardens inside the house while ensuring the privacy of the users. The architecture of the villas is characterised by straight lines which complement the organic forms of the landscaping both inside and in around the home. Each house is provided with abundant open space and well-integrated landscaping and trees. A space has been designed for each home to embrace the trees. Furthermore, the interior spaces are designed to ensure a continuous flow between indoors and outdoors. Using floorto-ceiling glass, an intimate delightful environment is created indoors that will become a backdrop for a lifetime of memories with the family. Living in Masaar, every home is connected to a part of the active lush landscape as their backyard. This allows the residents access to both intimate and sociable outdoor spaces. Masaar creates an inclusive, dynamic, and safe sanctuary to have good experiences and enjoyable moments with your loved ones both indoors and outdoors. What is the timeline for Masaar? Construction will start on Masaar in the second quarter of this year, and we aim to hand over the first homes in the community in the first quarter of 2023. By that time, we will have already delivered the sports, retail, entertainment and leisure facilities, to ensure that these are ready even before the first residents move in. At 19 million square feet, Masaar is certainly one of the largest project sites in the UAE, so we anticipate that it will take seven years to finish the community once construction has started.

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Will each of the districts at Masaar have the same layout and design? Each of the eight districts at Masaar will have its own unique architectural style, with a different name and a different feel, while at the same time complementing the modern and contemporary design of the overall plan. So, for example, if buyers like the design of the villas in the Sendian district of Masaar, they should be aware that there are only a limited number of these available, and they will not be repeated in later districts. All districts at Masaar are connected to and will benefit from the incredible range of outdoor, sporting and entertainment facilities located in the ‘green spine’ of the project. This treefilled space is what will make Masaar the UAE’s most serene residential community, with residents able to take woodland walks, enjoy quiet meditation or yoga in purposefully designed locations, or cycle along a looped five-kilometre forested track. Every district at Masaar will contain approximately 500 homes, and we will launch a new district on a 10-month rolling basis, or more rapidly if demand is strong. Are you considering new technologies, or a sustainable or environmentally friendly approach to Masaar? People living at Masaar will be living in truly smart homes, each of which has direct access to green parks. They will also be able to enjoy a superb range of outdoor sports facilities, all set within a forested environment that will help to promote both physical and mental health.


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Aljada Discovery Centre

Arada has recently launched a creative district at its other megaproject, Aljada. Why is the company focusing on this area and what facilities will this district have? In December, we launched Naseej District, which is a fantastic new addition to Aljada, which with a sales value of AED24 billion and an area of 24 million square feet, is by Sharjah’s largest ever project. Naseej, which means fabric, reflects Arada’s aspiration to weave together diverse skills, talents and backgrounds to turn the cultural district into a coherent social space for the creative community in Sharjah. Containing 16 apartment buildings designed in a

contemporary style and accompanied by anchor cultural attractions, Naseej District will also be bolstered by a range of creative events that will encourage both residents and visitors to collaborate and learn. Visitors to Naseej District, as well as art enthusiasts from around the UAE, will also enjoy an array of high-quality cultural, artistic and retail destinations right on their doorstep. At one end of the district is an iconic and beautifully designed building that will incorporate galleries, a museum and exhibition space. An architectural statement in itself, this showpiece building will be a focal point for learning, with permanent exhibits focusing on topics such as Sharjah’s growth story and climate change. Residents and visitors will also be able to enjoy a truly immersive cultural atmosphere at Naseej District, thanks to a year-round programme of events and activations, including outdoor and indoor art installations and exhibitions, events dedicated to the creative industries including an annual design week, and monthly meet-ups for children.

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Naseej District, a new creative neighbourhood at Aljada

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How will Masaar impact the UAE real estate market in general and Sharjah in particular? The UAE’s real estate sector has certainly gone through a difficult period in recent years, but not all individual markets within the country are the same. Sharjah has proved to be a remarkably resilient market, with demand staying very competitive even as the effects of the pandemic hit home last year. The most recent data from the Sharjah Real Estate Registration Department showed that

the value of property sold in the third quarter of last year rose by 10% against the same period a year before, which is a remarkable achievement in the circumstances. Our own results, which showed a 35% rise in the total value of property sold to AED1.75 billion in 2020, also show that demand for well-designed fully integrated communities in Sharjah remains strong. We believe that Masaar is a first-of-its-kind project, not just for Sharjah but the whole UAE. Our focus on active healthy living, top-quality design, incredible entertainment and sporting facilities and beautiful green spaces have all come together to create a community that will make residents feel happy, safe and secure at a time when these aspects have never been more important. We are aware that there is significant demand for high-quality housing in Sharjah. Masaar certainly fits that profile, and will help to contribute towards making the Emirate a more favourable place to live in.

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At the same time, we are also working hard to ensure that Masaar is environmentally friendly as possible. Our onsite treatment plant will provide recycled water for the more than 50,000 trees at Masaar, while state-of-the-art irrigation systems will minimize water loss and reduce costs. In addition, the way that trees will be planted at Masaar will also create a microclimate that will actually contribute to lowering temperatures within the community, thus reducing cooling bills.

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Urban planning

THE T FUTURE OF CITIES

OPPOSITE PAGE: LEONARDO DA VINCI'S PLANS FOR LA CITTA IDEALE Leonardo da Vinci came up with a series of alternative designs that could benefit today’s cities, as they face challenges from climate change to the current gobal epidemic.

he idea of a multi-level, technically conceived sustainable city appeared as early as the 15th century with Leonardo da Vinci’s urban planning for the Città Ideale (1487-1490), centuries ahead of his time. After having survived a series of bubonic plagues that struck Milan between 1484 and 1485, da Vinci developed a series of notations and drawings envisioning his ideal city: built upwards instead of outwards and integrated with nature. The Italian polymath of the High Renaissance envisioned buildings as hydraulic machines connected to a network of artifical canals to ensure efficient transport infrastructure; the Città Ideale would be more united, with greater communications, services, and sanitation to prevent the future spread of epidemics.

"The true originality of Leonardo’s vision was its fusion of architecture and engineering."

Alessandro Melis, Principal Lecturer in Sustainable Cities, University of Portsmouth

AND THE PROMISE OF GREEN URBANISM WORDS ODETTE KAHWAGI, CREATIVE LEAD, BNC PUBLISHING

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The concept however remained latent until the beginning of the 20th century when, in 1910, French architect and urban planner Eugène Hénard publicly discussed “future cities” at the Royal Institute of British Architects in London by introducing “La Rue Future” (Future Street). Hénard’s proposal of a two-tier street system separated upper levels for pedestrian and vehicular access from underground levels for services and waste disposal. The project’s idea of a super tower that coordinates with all of its arterial feeds was later seen in Fritz Lang’s classic movie Metropolis (1927), depicting a futuristic city structured in vertical layers, sharply divided between the working class and the city planners. >>>


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Da Vinci developed two major features for his ideal city: a network of canals that would support both commerce and sanitation, and the vertical division of the city itself into three different levels- the top level was reserved for pedestrians, the second level was the commercial zone reserved for carts and animals, and the third subterranean level linked the network of canals with the basement of buildings.

RIGHT: A page from Manuscript B, featuring da Vinci’s famous mirror writing. Courtesy Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism (MiBAC)

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THE FUTURE OF CITIES AND THE PROMISE OF GREEN URBANISM

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BELOW: Unité d'Habitation, Marseille, France This was the first large-scale residential housing project built on the idea of a vertical garden city. It accomodates approximately 1,600 residents among 18 floors in living, public, and communal spaces

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Images © FLC-ADAGP

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THE FUTURE OF CITIES AND THE PROMISE OF GREEN URBANISM

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RIGHT: Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (1887-1965), known as Le Corbusier, is one of the most important figures in 20th century architecture. A highlyskilled creator, he had (and continues to have) an extraordinary influence on the generations that came after him. Image © FLC-ADAGP

French-Swiss architect Le Corbusier was directly influenced by Henard’s highly sustainable approach in modern architecture: as a result, “Ville Radieuse” (Radiant City), the unrealized urban masterplan designed by Le Corbusier in 1925, set the early standards for biophilic design- and it’s considered today one of the most influential and controversial urban doctrines of modern architecture. With an abundance of green space and sunlight combined with effective means of transportation, ‘The Contemporary City for Three Million Inhabitants’ aimed to benefit its residents “on both the spiritual and material planes.”

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"THE MATERIALS OF URBAN PLANNING ARE SKY, SPACE, TREES, STEEL, AND CEMENT, IN THAT ORDER AND IN THAT HIERARCHY." Even though Le Corbusier’s built cities are hardly described as Utopias nowadays, the idea of proposing order through careful planning is as important now as it was when “Ville Radieuse” was first published. To tackle the different issues of legacy, infrastructure, pollution, traffic, and human congestion, (which Le Corbusier – along with Hénard and Da Vinci before him addressed holistically), new master-planned cities are emerging at an unprecedented scale from the ground up, accelerated by the pressing challenges of climate change, a growing world population and recently, the difficulty of co-living posed by a global epidemic. Here we consider different scenarios from the Middle East, designed to address the future of urban living. >>>

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THE LINE, NEOM

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audi Arabia is about to build a brand new multi-level, sustainable city in the desert. Since 2017, the country has been planning NEOM, a futuristic $500-billion, clean-energy powered 'living laboratory' near Egypt and Jordan. In early January 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the project’s first phase: THE LINE, a 170km belt of connected communities that will cut across the 26,500 km² city of NEOM. Developed as a cornerstone of Saudi Vision 2030, THE LINE aims to reshape urban development: the city is designed around walkability first, cars and roads are wholly banned, and transportation needs are met by an underground train system- putting people at the center, instead of road infrastructure. The multi-level city will be made up of clusters of aggregated urban areas arranged around a central “spine” with functions distributed across it.

THE LINE's infrastructure will be divided into three levels: PEDESTRIAN LAYER The top level is to be void of cars and roads, allowing residents to freely walk and bike in the surrounding green spaces. SERVICE LAYER The second level will contain daily service facilities such as schools, medical clinics, leisure facilities, and grocery stores. SPINE LEVEL The third level will house ultrahigh-speed transit and autonomous mobility solutions capable of transporting residents across communities in less than 20 minutes. Powered by AI, the entire development will be net-zero, using entirely renewable energy, and pollution-free.


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Construction is planned for the first quarter of 2021. Costs are estimated at $100-to-$200 billion and the city is expected to house one million residents by 2030.

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Masdar City is a radical vision of a sustainable future that is under construction in the Abu Dhabi desert, bringing together leading architects and state of the art green technology.

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The distinctive façade of the Incubator Building (below, right) slopes outward as it rises in an effect that reduces solar gain by up to 63%. The use of ‘fritting’ on the glass walls also keeps heat at bay yet still promotes diffused natural lighting inside. The circular dots of ceramic frit are applied more densely on windows higher up the building, where there is more direct sunlight, and less densely further down. The design of walkways into the building’s open-air interior courtyard helps to ‘lock in’ the cooler shaded air.


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MASDAR CITY, ABU DHABI

An incubator of clean technologies, Masdar City was announced by the Abu Dhabi government in 2006 as a bold experiment: a challenge to build an entirely ecological city housing 50,000 people in an area of 2.3 square miles, powered by renewable energy, and with zero carbon footprint. Works started in February 2008, with architectural firm Foster + Partners tasked with designing the futuristic city. To create Masdar's identity, the firm chose to blend traditional Middle Eastern passive design and smart technologies into a new original model for a sustainable community. They investigated old Arab settlements, including the ancient citadel of Aleppo in Syria, and 16th century apartment towers of Shibam in Yemen, to understand how traditional cities of the Middle East had kept houses cool over the centuries. What they found was that settlements were often built on high ground to take advantage of the stronger winds, while streets were narrow, always at an angle to the sun’s eastwest trajectory, to maximize shade and accelerate airflow through the city- which is why Masdar streets are barely 70m wide, even down to 40m for lanes. Buildings at the end of the streets create wind turbulence to push air upwards, resulting in a flushing effect that cools the street. >>>

Masdar Solar Hub: Photovoltaic Test Centre, CPV Testing Facility and Masdar Institute Solar Platform Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS) /Food and Biofuel Electric Energy Storage Solutions Hub Masdar City Eco-Villa Prototype Smart Home Energy Management System (SHEMS) Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) System

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CURRENT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS AT MASDAR CITY

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Everything in Masdar was built for high-function, low-consumption efficiency. Constructed with low-carbon cement and 90% recycled aluminum, the city’s buildings are designed to reduce energy and water consumption by 40%, in accordance with LEED and the Estidama Building Rating System developed by the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council.

Masdar is wholly owned by the Mubadala Investment Company, a pioneering global investor that deploys capital with ingenuity and integrity to accelerate economic growth for the long-term benefit of Abu Dhabi.

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ituated 17km east of Abu Dhabi, Masdar is built on a 7m-high concrete platform to maximize its exposure to winds. The main axis of the city is rotated to align the grid with the prevailing winds, so that the air flowing to the north cool sthe streets.

Masdar City Construction Waste Management Masdar Institute for Science and Technology Field Station Feasibility of District Cooling powered by Geothermal Energy for Masdar City

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MASDAR CITY, ABU DHABI To maximize cooling, the Masdar architects turned to a concept that has been used for more than a thousand years in the Middle East: wind towers. Rising 45m above the podium, the recycled steel-skeleton is one of the highest wind towers ever built. The tower’s height allows it to capture the cooler upper winds and direct them to the open-air public square at its base. Sensors at the

top of the structure operate high-level louvers to open in the direction of prevailing winds and close in other directions, diverting wind downwards. Assembled in six months, the tower became the city’s landmark. The firm’s efforts in fusing passive design with modern concepts resulted in 15-20°C cooler temperatures in Masdar.

IRENA buidling

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A TFE (Teflon) fabric membrane carries the wind downward, while mist generators at the top further cool the air. This combination of evaporative ooling and air movement help to lower the perceived temperature in the courtyard.

MAJOR TENANTS Masdar City is home to major local and international tenants, including the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the 800-strong regional head office of Europe’s largest manufacturing and electronics company, Siemens. US multinational GE has established the GE Ecomagination Center in Masdar City’s Incubator Building, where it conducts research with regional partners and provides training and education programmes. Energy management firm Schneider Electric also is a major tenant, as is aerospace company Lockheed Martin, which operates its Center for Innovation and Security Solutions (CISS), the first facility of its kind for the company outside the United States.

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THE FUTURE OF CITIES AND THE PROMISE OF GREEN URBANISM

Masdar City uses clean energy generated on site from both the 10MW solar power plant and 1MW rooftop solar panels installed on the Masdar Institute buildings, predominantly supplying the national grid. Combined, they produce approximately 19,100MWh’s of electricity annually, displacing 11,450 tonnes of carbon emissions per year. This is enough to power 500 homes in the UAE for a year.

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Completed in phase one, the structure’s undulating terracotta façades of its residential part are protected by a contemporary reinterpretation of mashrabiya, a type of latticed projecting oriel window, constructed with sustainably developed, glass-reinforced concrete. The building is entirely powered by renewable solar energy, and while roofs are entirely covered with solar panels, a much greater scale was developed to supply the entire university: a 210,000 m2 photovoltaic power station produces up to 10MW of electricity, and also powers part of the Abu Dhabi grid.

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In March 2013, Masdar inaugurated Shams 1, one of the world’s largest Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) plants and the first of its kind in the MENA region. Masdar partnered with Total and Abengoa to deliver the 100-megawatt (MW) solar thermal project. In January 2016, Masdar purchased Abengoa’s 20% stake in the asset, increasing its share to 80%.

The main buildings are highly insulated and energy efficient, including the SIEMENS building (below), the Middle-East headquarters of the technology giant.

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The Masdar Institute district, considered the intellectual core of the city, was the first part of the development to be built housing the city’s early residents. Today, The Masdar Institute has merged with three other institutions to create Khalifa University, and the original building now hosts the research backbone of the new university, referred to as Masdar City Campus.

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Today, the Masdar community works toward being carbon neutral, rather than carbon free. More than 535 companies from six continents are based in the city, and Masdar is currently developing a pilot green hydrogen project with the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, Etihad Airways, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Siemens Energy, Marubeni, and the Lufthansa Group. The first phase of the demonstration project will focus on the production of green hydrogen for passenger cars and busses in Masdar City. The ultimate goal is to scale up clean hydrogen production, including green hydrogen production via large-scale solar plants. The green incubator is helping change attitudes about renewable energy and climate change across the region, and governments will hopefully see the benefits and follow suit.

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38 Urban planning

A flourishing park runs through the entire length of The Sustainable City, forming the community’s Central Green Spine. There are 11 biodome greenhouses running the length of the Central Green Spine,

with a total capacity of over 3,000 square metres for urban farming. The Sustainable City has begun cultivation with the plan to diversify and grow as many fruits and vegetables as possible in these domes and along the green spine.

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THE SUSTAINABLE CITY, DUBAI

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his futuristic city within a city has already been built, and has the power to go off-grid: the complex has 500 villas all powered by solar panels, water is recycled on site, it's free from polluting vehicles, and residents grow their own vegetables in eleven biome greenhouses. The city creates much of its own organic produce and is 100% dedicated to recycling all of its waste. Part of the water on-site goes towards managing the vegetable patches to supply the community's food needs. The utopian eco-city is bordered by a 10m high multi-layered periphery consisting of 2,500 trees,

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serving as a buffer zone to protect the community from pollutants. Currenty, the city is testing out new technologies that can help establish a circular economy, including vertical farms- a way of growing food indoors, without soil, and typically using LED lights instead of natural light. The Sustainable City was designed and built by Dubai-based Diamond Developers. The first net zero energy development in the Emirate of Dubai, it reprensents a working blueprint for low-carbon living through disruptive innovation and transformational societal change


discover At Arada, we build high quality communities. Diverse neighbourhoods that come to life when people share, exchange and celebrate.

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POWERLIST 2021

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Influential Architects in the MENA

RECOGNISING AND SALUTING THE LEADERS IN ARCHITECTURE FOR BEING CREATIVE, DIFFERENT, AND PROGRESSIVE. EVERYTIME!

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JOE/TABET MANAGING DIRECTOR + FOUNDER JT+PARTNERS

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rom day one, Joe Tabet’s role as JT+Partners' managing director and founder was to establish a vision that could be flexible and adapt to different market changes: The vision was to think and act big, and all was planned accordingly. Tabet manages the growth of the business in the UAE and Beirut, and is heavily involved in recruiting the right people. He firmly believes that his team is the key to the continuing success of JT+Partners, and ensures that the latest technology and softwares are always available to them. A firm believer in gender balance within the workplace, he also encourages his team to maintain a proper balance between work and family life. Whether a hotel development, residential project, commercial tower or an entire master plan, Joe’s success lies in the ability to conceive unique concepts with, of course, the help of his talented team. The firm ensures that each and every project is adding value at a social level by making a positive impact in people’s lives, as well the urban fabric. Coming from a background where nothing is easily achievable, Joe believes that “to get, you need to sweat”. This ideology has sculpted his character and created an urge for him to seek the right professional opportunities with the determination to succeed through commitment, hard work and self-development. Tabet is committed to deliver environmentally and socially sustainable communities in addition to cultural and aesthetic sensibilities. His balanced, holistic approach to environmental, social and economic considerations of each project ensures that the full potential of every opportunity is realised in a sustainable manner, all the while exceeding his clients’ expectations. An inspiration to designers and architects in the region, he has proven how an architect wearing different hats can achieve success by contributing positively to the growing development of the region.


Architects 42 MENA Powerlist

SHAUN/KILLA DESIGN PARTNER | KILLA DESIGN

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riven by design excellence, Shaun Killa is an award-winning architect with international experience spanning over 26 years. Throughout his career, Killa has focussed his design philosophy on buildings and masterplans that are sustainable, innovative, contextually inspired and have a holistic approach to the natural and economic environment which has led to numerous highly recognisable iconic projects. Killa spent 16 years as Director of Architecture at Atkins before co-founding the Killa Design studio in 2015. He has worked on signature projects, including the award-winning designs for the Museum of the future, the newly

opened The Address Beach Resort, a W Hotel in Mumbai, Vida Hotel in the Dubai Marina, Aykon Twin Towers in Dubai, and the Office of the Future, the first occupied printed building in the world. Recently the firm has won a zero energy ultra-luxury resort in the Red Sea. Killa works closely with the associate partners on numerous projects in ensuring the highest design quality as well providing innovative and sustainable ideas. Throughout the design process, Killa also spends significant time mentoring and uplifting the diverse younger generation of architects in his office, where the flat structure of ‘design lead’ dialogue is highly encouraged within the studio and design team.

Killa’s further role has been to compete at the highest level in competitions against multiple international architectural firms for hospitality, cultural and mixed-use buildings. In many instances winning these whereby growing the firm from a few people to 80 strong within six years. Killa has high praise for his team and they work closely with each other. Karsten Veith is the managing director at Killa Design. He is a Chartered Engineer

Museum of the Future Dubai

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(CEng) with more than 25 years of experience in the construction sector. He started his career in Germany, then spent 6 years in Atkins’ Engineering Technology Group in the UK as well as in the Building Division in Dubai where he first met Shaun and Allel. After leaving Atkins, Veith established and grew an Engineering Consultancy in Abu Dhabi before he joined Killa Design in 2016. Veith has vast experience with a broad variety of structures, including high rise buildings, educational and leisure facilities, office buildings, as well as rail projects, bridges, stadia, and oil platforms, with projects executed in Europe, the GCC, Africa and Asia. With a strong background in engineering, construction and management, he has been leading the team on several multidisciplinary projects as project director. At Killa Design, Allel Hadri is a managing partner. He qualified Civil and Structural Engineer with a wealth of experience gained over 40 years in the UK, North Africa, and the ME, in particular the UAE. His experience covers business, client, project and design management and construction supervision. Hadri has completed over 350


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projects covering residential, commercial, hospitality, education, healthcare, industrial and leisure in the MENA region. Prior to the Killa partnership, Hadri was the Residential Director of the UAE and Iraq for SSH International. In 2015, Hadri co-founded Killa Design with Shaun Killa, who was Director of Architecture at Atkins. The partnership flourished with landmark projects such as the Museum of the Future, The Address Beach Resort and

Vida Marina Hotel to name a few. Regarding the expansion plans, Killa commented: “In the next two to three years Killa Design would like to establish a presence in the UK and China. The company is also growing its design abilities in KSA and Qatar where their focus is to contribute with a number of these mega projects and elevate the built an environment, increase internal and external tourism and to improve the work opportunities for their inhabitants.”

Sinuoso Dubai

The Address Beach Resort Dubai

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Vida Hotel & Serviced Apartments Dubai

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Office of the Future Dubai

Royal Arts Complex KSA

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OMAR/ ABDELGHAFOUR OWNER L.S.DESIGN

Top image: La Mere (Train Beach Club), mixed-use facility The repurposed beach club has been converted into four separate, distinctively related spaces with unique identities. A professional gym, restaurant, café-bar and nightclub. The challenge was to keep the space raw and industrial, showcasing and following the inherent existing architecture yet pushing the boundaries of detail.

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Right: Following the theme of industrial chic, a striking yellow inverted staircase made from raw steel and glass takes centre stage which cocoons you to the mezzanine VIP section. The lounge is a mixture of raw exposed beams and ducting. The MEP is not concealed but featured. The industrial space is softened by an internal green wall and olive trees.

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ith over 15 years of professional experience in the design industry from renowned practices, Omar Abdelghafour founded awardwinning multi-discipline design and architecture practice L.S.Design (Light Space Design) in 2004. Born and raised in London, he received his masters in Transport Design and then Architecture from the UK. His professional practice has given him the opportunity to work in Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East. His ability to practice architecture globally enabled him to be invited to be part of the Venice Biennale of Architecture and Light, as a key note speaker. Apart from mentoring, Abdelghafour is an active member of a variety of professional design and architectural platforms in the Middle East and Europe. His work is regularly published in global design publications from Europe to Asia. For him, architecture is one part of “Design” as the language for life not a singular discipline. This philosophy translates into every aspect of how human interface and contextual accuracy is used in both his private and commercial architecture. It encompasses urban planning, product, furniture, lighting and even transport Design, resulting in the delivery of a detail-rich fully immersed designed environment. This is apparent in his diverse body of work. Abdelghafour has a regard for unique craftsmanship and refined aesthetics, with a firm belief that design should be passionate, dynamic and contextually relevant for the region in which its being delivered.

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Architects 46 MENA Powerlist

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"WE ARE EXPANDING INTO SAUDI ARABIA AND HOPE TO SET UP AN OFFICE IN THE KINGDOM MID THIS YEAR TO HANDLE OUR PROJECTS THERE. WE ARE VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE PACE OF DEVELOPMENT IN THE KINGDOM AND SEE SEVERAL OPPORTUNITIES ON THE HORIZON."


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Mall on Palm Jumeirah. This was followed by the completion of a grade-A commercial project Dubai Hills Offices which we collaborated with Emaar. The team has also worked on a number of projects at the Expo site which include the interiors of a hotel which are nearing completion. “We recently won an international design competition to master plan a large hospitality and lifestyle development in Cambodia. This project is made up of a number of the reclaimed island that will form a high end Residential and Hospitality destination in the country. We are further developing the detailed master plan and starting the architectural components. We are currently working with leading phone manufacture on a number of their flagship stores globally and we are very excited to be involved in the newly announced store in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We are also developing the design of a number of hospitality projects in Saudi Arabia,” shares Magill. Commenting on the expansion plans, Magill says: “We are expanding into Saudi Arabia and hope to set up an office in the Kingdom mid this year to handle our projects there. We are very excited about the pace of development in the Kingdom and see several opportunities on the horizon. In parallel, we have been very active in Indonesia and our setting up a base in Jakarta to serve the country. Currently, we are serving the country from our Dubai and Singapore office. Indonesia has ambitious plans to expand its new developments and serve its growing population and we want to be part of that vision.”

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and prior to joining RSP he was employed in a number of high profile international architectural practices and led design teams which have won numerous international architectural competitions. Magill opened RSP Dubai branch in 2009, and has since then expanded an initial design team of nine to over 70 professional staff today. Magill leads his diverse team with his extensive experience, critical thinking and analysing, to deliver highly complex and iconic projects. With his profound understanding of lifestyles translating into exemplary designs, he continues to succeed in the competitive landscape of MENA and win an array of exciting projects. Magill explains: “My role within the Dubai office is to lead the strategic direction of the company in terms of opportunities and engaging with clients. I am also the creative director and lead the design team in developing the architectural and interior design vision for all our projects. This involves me developing the design vision with our clients through workshops and presentations. I also head RSP Global Design group where I review projects across our global studios and add design intelligence and latest thinking. My active involvement with the Global Design group has allowed me this year to develop design projects in Russia, Cambodia, Singapore, and China.” Globally RSP has completed numerous projects and the Dubai team at the start of 2020, handed over our signature project the Nakheel

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

MANAGING & CREATIVE DIRECTOR RSP ichael Magill trained in the UK,

FEBRUARY 2021

MICHAEL/MAGILL

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DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

Architects 48 MENA Powerlist

ANDY/SHAW

RAYA/ANI

MANAGING PARTNER | AMA CHAIR OF RIBA GULF CHAPTER

FOUNDER + DESIGN DIRECTOR RAW-NYC ARCHITECTS

Andy Shaw is an architect and educator based in Dubai. He is a key partner within AMA’s design team, who have just completed the striking centrepiece ‘Harbour Master’s Building’ in the new Dubai Harbour development. AMA’s floating hotel GAIA project features the fusion of emerging technologies to create a sustainable project connecting people with nature, two design themes that drive Andy’s design philosophy. The project was featured in Downtown Design’s ‘Shape of Things to Come’ exhibition and has since been published all over the world. In 2020, Shaw was elected to the role of Chair of the RIBA Gulf and through the COVID period has helped RIBA create a digital output with webinars engaging audiences across the whole region and the rest of the world. In November 2020, he helped create the first Dubai Architecture Festival during Design Week, a partnership between RIBA Gulf Chapter and Dubai Design District. He is a Visiting Professor of Architecture at Heriot Watt University, Dubai, teaching since 2016, design studios, an innovative cross-national climate change class and professional practice. Shaw has also consulted for the Dubai Future Foundation on how the city can change society’s approach to education and is a verified researcher for their work. Shaw is passionate about how innovative technology and sustainable design can combine to improve the built environment for all citizens. He is currently working on several cutting-edge pilot projects involving 3D printed concrete and biocrete. He is looking forward to bringing the design community together through RIBA social events in 2021, once the pandemic has passed, and the design industry can move forward making the region even better.

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Raya Ani is a multi-disciplinary architect and urban designer with more than 25 years of international experience having worked in Baghdad, Boston, Dubai, Germany, and New York City. She received her bachelor’s degree in Architectural engineering from Baghdad University with distinction, and her masters in Architecture from MIT, where she was awarded the prestigious Harvard/MIT Aga Khan Scholarship. As the 2017 President of the American Institute of Architects-Middle East Chapter, she launched AIA Middle East in Iraq to empower Iraqi architects through a global platform. Her interests in melding innovation, sustainability, and technology, and her drive to empower and lead by example has resulted in her being the founder and design director of RAW-NYC Architects, an award-winning inter-disciplinary studio based in New York City and Dubai. She had participated in a series of workshops as a volunteer to help

build schools and homes for children in Tanzania. The well-acclaimed competition entry for the Bamiyan Cultural Center in Afghanistan, which won the merit award at the AIA International Region Awards in Prague, reaffirms her commitment to empower communities through design. Through the canvases of her designs, Ani explores the powers of architecture as a pivotal tool of empowerment and transformation, inspiring architects and creatives across the world. Her works on the marshes of Southern Iraq in 2013, which received the AIA-ME honour award, aimed at inspiring and empowering the indigenous people of the region to restore the deteriorated ecosystem. In 2016, Raya was shortlisted from 43 leading women architects in New York to participate in an international competition to convert a women’s prison in Manhattan to an International Hub for Women’s empowerment.

CHAKIB/RICHANI OWNER | CHAKIB RICHANI ARCHITECTS Venezuelan-born Lebanese Chakib is known for his modern designs of the highest calibre. He has designed and realised various architectural projects in Lebanon, Europe and the Middle East, thanks to which Chakib gained international recognition. His buildings possess a poise that is rare in contemporary constructions of his region of the world. Scale exaggeration and repetition of architectural elements are partly responsible for this. There is a strong unifying concept that orchestrates the relationship of interior to exterior, the flow of the internal spaces and light, and the design and location of furniture that produce a harmonious entity. The light that penetrates into the spaces abundantly adds to the feeling of well-being. Some of his works include the Zinc House Dubai, Amman Mansion, Elie Saab Apartments (Paris), Elie Saab Beirut Residence and Plantation House (Al Ain). In all his works, the architecture and interiors are minimalist, sophisticated, and infinite attention to details is given.


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JANUS/ ROSTOCK |

the team delivering the Dubai Promenade and Cape Town Waterfront master plan. In 2008, he moved back to Denmark to start up Atkins’ architecture and design department in Copenhagen. He returned to the UAE in 2011 where he led the design of Dubai Opera and the Opera District, KIFAF, Prince Sultan Cultural Centre, Dubai Creek Harbor Phase one and Qiddiya to name a few. Since joining AECOM in July 2018, Rostock has grown the firm’s almost 100 strong master planning, urban design, landscape and concept architecture practice, which is focused on solving the region’s most complex challenges and designing solutions that help people and communities thrive. Rostock and his team are currently involved in several of the regions highest profile projects including the masterplan and public realm design for Dubai Expo 2020, Dubai Harbor, NEOM regional plan, Diplomatic Quarter, Riyadh TOD and Riyadh Complete Communities, and several confidential competitions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UAE. Rostock has accumulated extensive international experience as the lead concept designer on projects in the U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria, Iran, India, Azerbaijan, Angola, Kenya, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Rostock is a founding board member of the Danish Green Building Council and a board member of The Danish Management Society (VL-94) MENA.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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anus Rostock is a multi-award-winning architect, urban designer and master-planner who has led the design and delivery of several high-profile projects across several continents over the last +25 years. His unique Scandinavian design ethos and leadership style has transformed places and teams through his inclusive, engaging and human-centric design approach. Janus utilizes evidence and data with an emphasis on co-creation, while always focusing on people, community and the pedestrian eye-level experiences. His trademark is creating architecture and urban design that is place-specific, celebrating local culture and tradition while looking to the future. With more than +15 years in the Middle East and having led two of the largest architecture and urban design studios across the region, Rostock’s and his teams have positively contributed to ME cities and places becoming more community-oriented, inclusive and pedestrian-friendly. Environment, sustainability, and governance are at the forefront of every project ensuring sustainable architecture and urban design for future generations. Having received his M.Arch from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts School of Architecture, Copenhagen, following a year at l’Ecole d’Architecture de Paris Belleville, Paris, Janus worked for Henning Larsen Architects and KHR in Denmark. Rostock moved to Dubai and joined Atkins in 2006, where he was part of

FEBRUARY 2021

VICE PRESIDENT DESIGN, MENA PRACTICE LEAD URBANISM + PLANNING AECOM CITIES LEAD HEAD OF CONCEPT ARCHITECTURE

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DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

Architects 50 MENA Powerlist

LORENZO ZOLI/

MANAGING DIRECTOR M+N ARCHITECTURE

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orenzo Zoli is the CEO of M+N Architecture SRL (Italy) and Managing Director of its Abu Dhabi-based subsidiary, both founded (by Zoli and six other partners) in 2010. Zoli’s initial role was to establish the subsidiary company in the UAE and create a base from where they could reach the GCC market. Now he manages the company in all its day-to-day activities but with an attention to the medium- and long-term strategies as well. Zoli explains: “I also overlook the contractual, financial and technical matters, including business development and client’s liaison. In a few words, we are able to adapt to different types and scales of projects, where the common background is the approach to design: creating sustainable and unique spaces which suit clients’ needs, expectations, and budget.”

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Zoli studied architecture in Florence (Italy) where he graduated cum laude, receiving the Best Student of the Year award in 2002. His studies included a year spent at the University of Central England in Birmingham (UK) and a term at the New York University in New York City (USA). Soon after graduation, Zoli registered as a chartered architect and began post-graduate study, obtaining his PhD in Architecture Technology in 2007. In 2010, Zoli was appointed managing director of M+N Architecture and since then he has been based in Abu Dhabi from where he has led the development of the company in the GCC market. In the past ten years of operations he has been exposed to all sides of the design business, overlooking the growth of the company which delivered over 200+ projects in the field of education, residential developments, mixed use, governmental buildings and interior design (in particular corporate offices, retail and hospitality).


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MATTHEW/ENGLE

highest level of points in LEED Interior Design and Construction (ID+C) Commercial Interiors certification in the GCC region, and the fourth company globally to achieve 90 points in the USGBC rating, across all sectors.

The quality of the work of M+N has been recognised by several awards, in particular for sustainability and interior design. Zoli’s academic career is continuing in UAE, with collaborations as part time instructor and tutor for local universities. Commenting on the expansion plans, Zoli says: “We already have four offices, one in Abu Dhabi (UAE), two in Florence, and one in Milan (Italy). Currently, we are more concentrating on re-thinking our strategies to make the most out of our current setup, even though we are always on the look-out for opportunities in other markets as well.” Projects by M+N Architecture include Khidmah/Provis HQ at Yas Mall, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi; new Cyber Security Department for New York University Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi; and others. The current year is looking promising for the M+N Architecture. Zoli says: “In 2021 Al Raha Lofts, a residential development with 168 units located in Al Raha Beach area of Abu Dhabi designed by our company will reach 100% completion and we should be on site soon with our project for the office building of the Ministry of Interior, for which we will be in-charge of the supervision for the next two years.”

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Provis and Khidmah’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi has been awarded with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification by the US Green Building Council (USGBC). The joint head office received the

Matthew Engele heads the design for the international organisation’s Middle East region, which currently totals 70 employees. He is also a principal and as part of the regional executive management team is responsible for managing the Middle East business's future strategic growth. Engele has been a key figure in Woods Bagot's expansion into regions such as Morroco, with the design of The St Regis Hotel in Marrakesh and KSA with recent high profile competition wins. His passion for sustainability has shaped and challenged the Middle East studio to design for environmental, social and economic sustainability. This can be seen in the highly sustainable & innovative MC2 - Masdar City project that was a Silver Winner at the recent World Architecture News awards 2020. Engele also leads the 'Diversity in Design Initiative' for the Middle East studio, which has been set up to promote diversity within the design teams at Woods Bagot. 13 nationalities are currently collaborating within the Dubai office, 44% of the total management team and 55% of associates and associate principals are females, figures which continue to increase year on year. During 2021, Engele will continue to be focused on leading the Middle East studio’s high-performance design teams on high profile projects throughout the region. Regarding expansion plans, Engele comments: "We currently operates in 16 different cities across the world and in Q1 of 2020, we successfully opened our Los Angeles office in the USA. We are constantly evaluating opportunities for growth into new markets and given our current workload of projects coming from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia we see great opportunities for continued growth in KSA. Other regions of growth in Egypt, with the successful launch of an exciting residential project in Cairo, as well as Morocco with the Woods Bagot design St Regis hotel set for construction in 2021."

FEBRUARY 2021

PRINCIPAL + REGIONAL DESIGN LEAD WOODS BAGOT

design-middleeast.com


Architects 52 MENA Powerlist

NECDET/AJUN

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

FOUNDER + PRINCIPAL ARCHITECT ATI CONSULTANTS, ARCHITECTS AND ENGINEERS

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ecognised as one of the most prominent architects in the region, Turkish architect Necdet Ajun is the founder and principal architect of ATI Consultants, Architects and Engineers which he established in 1980. Known for his rational approach, intelligent solutions, and delicate details, his core philosophy is to create universal and human-centric design solutions. Mentor to several well-known architects and engineers in the region, his professor-like approach, distinctive style and desire for design excellence has made Ajun and ATI a preferred partner for many distinguished projects and clients that has resulted in the firm winning a number of prestigious design awards.

ATI new head office

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Before starting his own firm, Ajun worked as a senior architect for Hans Pfitzer Architects in Stuttgart, Germany until 1977. Subsequently, he was the manager and lead architect for German Gulf Consulting Engineers in the United Arab Emirates until 1980. The success gained from his first project in the region, the Khorfakkan Royal Palace, perched on top of the mountain and one of Khorfakkan’s architectural landmarks, paved his way to settle in the UAE. Since then, he has been running

his own practice in the UAE, where he has designed and completed over 700 successful projects worldwide and has organically grown the firm to become an award-winning, multi-disciplinary consultancy that encompasses several design disciplines, house of expertise, global offices and partnerships which actively complement the architectural core of the practice. With more than 44 years of regional experience to his name, his work comprises some of the region’s most recognizable educational institutions, royal palaces, and residential complexes. Amongst them is the International School of Choueifat who has adopted his designs as a standard across many of their educational facilities around the world. Celebrating the hard work and dedication over the last four decades as well as his creative vision for the future, ATI has recently moved into their new inspiring head office in Dubai. Ajun is currently actively pursuing the design of several educational and mixed-use projects worldwide and in the UAE. Some of the recent iconic works include the Sharjah Mosque project, a masterplanned community and sustainable urban development project in the emirate of U.A.Q. and an upcoming iconic residential high-rise tower in Sharjah.


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DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

DREW/ GILBERT DESIGN MANAGER OBM INTERNATIONAL

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rew Gilbert plays a role in envisioning and creating designs that enhance the lives of the various users and stakeholder of the projects. Gilbert provides motivation and mentors the team to develop design solutions, and quality production that creates sensitive, unique, and appealing design that is appropriate to its context. With the previous practise he played a major driving force in shaping the firm’s design ethos and projecting the firm to an international level, where he continues his passion to push the boundaries of design and create sustainable and simple solutions to enhance the built environment. From private villas to mixed-use communities, from boutique resorts to

destination hotels, his macro to micro experience has led him to become a well-balanced designer with an eye for context, culture, and climate creating sustainable and lasting solutions profoundly relevant to place and purpose. LEED Accredited, he is committed to a brighter future, advocating sustainable design strategies and cradle-tocradle thinking for long term impacts on the built environment. With more than 80 years of passion in the industry, OBMI has become renowned for architecture of luxury hotels, resorts, vacation destinations and residences that reflect the culture specific to their place spanning over nine offices globally including: USA, KSA, Dubai, Antigua, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Spain, Trinidad & Tobago, and Cayman Islands. Recently OBMI has expanded to Dubai and opened a large design studio, with plans to branching to Asia region.

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DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

Architects 54 MENA Powerlist

VALENTIN/ VALCHEV

NIGEL/CRADDOCK

SENIOR ASSOCIATE STUDIO INTERNATIONAL ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS (SIEC)

DESIGN DIRECTOR IMKAN PROPERTIES

After growing up in Bulgaria and graduating from Sofia University of Architecture with a Master degree in 2006, Valentin Valchev started work in a well-established architectural company in Sofia. During his years in Bulgaria, Valchev participated in various architectural projects and competitions. One of these competitions - Design of the New Central Train Station resulted in an Award for his work in the city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He first moved to Dubai in 2011, where he joined Aedas as a Design architect. During his stay in the company, Valentin worked on numerous residential, master planning, and transportation projects. Valchev left Aedas to join DARA Architects in Doha, Qatar as a Senior Design Architect where he had a chance to lead the concept design for various projects. He relocated to Dubai in 2014, where he has been a resident since and is currently

holding the position of Senior Associate at Studio International Engineering Consultants (SIEC). Having been with SIEC for six years as a founding member, Valchev has been a key member in the growth of the company and has had extensive input on a range of projects from towers to single-family houses. The list of flagship projects Valchev has been involved in while at SIEC is extensive and includes: SZ21, Residence 138 Um Hurair, Mudon Residence, The Pulse Town Homes, The Heart of Business Bay, Al Gurair Tower, Saadiyat Island Hotel and Resort, The Pulse Gate Mall amongst others. Valchev has exceptional design skills and extensive technical knowledge with a long track record of being part of successful design teams and possesses experience of working for international architectural companies.

FADI/JABRI EXECUTIVE OFFICER PRINCIPAL, GLOBAL DESIGN GROUP (GCC/CIS/INDIA), GLOBAL DESIGN DEPARTMENT NIKKEN SEKKEI In 2000, Dr Fadi Jabri joined Nikken Sekkei as an architect after obtaining a Ph.D. Degree in Engineering from the University of Tokyo. In 2014, he joined the board of directors, responsible for developing and overseeing Nikken Sekkei activities in

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Nigel Craddock joined IMKAN Properties four years ago with over 20 years of experience in both lead consultant and client-side design management roles, gained from working with leading organisations in the UK and MENA region. Craddock holds a BA(Hons) with a Diploma in Architecture and graduated as a chartered ARB RIBA Architect with a Certificate of Architectural Professional Practice from Plymouth University in his home country UK. His experience both regionally and internationally covers a wide variety of small and large-scale project types spanning multiple sectors. Craddock has finished the Beach club at Makers District in partnership with Cove, which launched on November 27, 2020. The feedback from the community has been incredible and as the first public realm activation point in Makers District. He says: "We are super proud to have moved this project across the line under some very challenging circumstances. The project will continue to be enhanced and evolve over the coming months as we seek to further activate the North Beach zone, followed by the Northern Promenade of this 186,000sqm district site. The recently launched Makers District Beach is the only swimmable beach on Reem Island, offering guests an array of pursuits along its more-than-300m of beachfront." Craddock wants to keep working on high-quality architectural projects that genuinely add value to the built environment and people’s lives.

MENA, CIS, and India regions. He brings to Nikken Sekkei strong international experience owing to his participation in high profile projects in over 20 cities, ranging from urban planning including waterfront, TOD developments, to mixed-use high rise, residential, hospitality, and education. In his projects, he works closely with the client and design teams to set out design direction and establish overall execution strategy for a project, from inception to completion. Jabri contributed to establishing Dubai, Riyadh, and Moscow offices and is currently establishing the office in India. He is also responsible for the corporate Global Branding Strategy of Nikken Sekkei Group. He is fluent in English, Japanese, Arabic, and Russian.

design-middleeast.com


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PIERRE/MARTIN DUFRESNE

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ierre Martin Dufresne graduated from the acclaimed Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism in Canada in the mid-90s before relocating to South East Asia where he attained his design knowledge on large-scale projects with HOK Asia Pacific in Hong Kong. Dufresne also worked in Singapore for three years as a senior design architect with award-winning Kerry Hill Architects. After moving to Dubai in 2005, his work has since matured on the multi-disciplined design on a variety of buildings types. Throughout his career, Dufresne’s design has been instrumental in attracting highly regarded clients expecting only the finest quality development with an international elegance. He has worked closely and directly with prestigious clients such as Hines US, IBM PRC, China Tele-com PRC, Centrair Japan, Aman Resorts Singapore, GHM Hotels, Beaufort Group HK, and Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Company UAE to name a few. Some of the other prestigious projects by U+A in the Middle East include Capital Centre Masterplan, Abu Dhabi; Dubai Properties- Marasi Floating Homes, Dubai; Amaala - Culinary Hotel & Resort, KSA; Emaar - Club Villas, Dubai Hills Estates, Dubai; ·Deyaar -Midtown, IMPZ - Dubai; MAF - Al Mouj Residential Development - Muscat; amongst others. Since joining U+A architects in 2007, Dufresne has been the driving force for the design of many small to medium-scale projects in the region. He continues to perfect his craft by embracing new technologies and design tools. Understanding the fast pace of design, he is constantly championing the relevance of design in the new challenges stemming too often from the high demands of the real estate community. Taking technology to another U+A was commissioned to undertake the concept design of a 3D printed home by Emaar that would serve as a module in design and workflow for future endeavours, which is to be located at The Arabian Ranches III. This project will serve as a precursor to a paradigm shift in architecture and the built industry, challenging traditional methods of construction and design.

FEBRUARY 2021

PARTNER AND DESIGN PRINCIPAL | U+A

design-middleeast.com


Architects 56 MENA Powerlist

MIHIR/SANGANEE

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

DESIGN DIRECTOR DESIGNSMITH

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rowing up in Dubai, Mihir Sanganee truly is a product and reflection of this region. His functional yet striking style and the delivery of a great customer experience at Designsmith has helped them sail through the pandemic and grow their client base. Completing his Architecture degree at KRVIA, Mumbai, Sanganee spent the majority of this early-career on-site - overseeing the quality of the work being delivered. He combined this practical experience with his personal design capabilities and created his studio, Designsmith. Sanganee says: “Designsmith is my passion project, the team is my family and delivering an exceptional design solution is what we strive to do in every single project. We don’t do boring.” 2020 was a remarkable year for the studio as they didn’t lose steam with their projects and used the opportunity to reflect and eventually grow their team further. A renewed focus with a larger team helped Designsmith further enhance their quality as well as pace on current projects. Gradually building their foundations for the last 7 years, Sanganee's team completed and successfully delivered more than 30 projects last year, ranging from 1500sqft single unit lofts to commercial projects such as the award-winning “The Bowl One” outlet in DIFC and the hailed InnerFight gym in Studio City. During the pandemic, Sanganee also supported fellow business owners and friends in pivoting the way they do business with strategic advice and support. With these regular virtual coffee sessions, experts from different industries helped SMEs break down their business hurdles and offered crossfunctional actionable insights and solutions to these issues. In his personal life, he found the travel restrictions and social distancing guidelines to be the perfect excuse to finally explore the great outdoors of the UAE with plenty of hiking, trail running, and camping experiences with his wife and rescued dogs. 2021’s focus has been on extending their services to the clientele in Africa and as one of the few one-stop-shops in the region for architecture, interior design, furniture, joinery and fit-out, Designsmith is a preferred partner for residential and commercial projects of all scales. Their in-house Design & Build solutions offer a seamless, hassle-free experience for their clients.

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This year is already off to a strong start with the team actively pitching and steadily growing and now stands at 15 members along with their 300+ strong in-house build team. Designsmith is currently expanding their studio in Al Quoz to a large, experiential hub for clients to immerse their senses in a world of locally and internationally-sourced finishes, materials samples, décor and design options. They aim to be the largest single destination in the UAE bringing together incredible designers and high-quality vendors, keeping client satisfaction as a key priority always.


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GIORGIO PALERMO / ELENA GREGORUTTI

FEBRUARY 2021

The duo is driven by their passion for design, their keen eye for detail, quality and perfection. Their unique approach is much appreciated by their clients who enjoy being a part of the creative process. One of their greatest strengths is their ability to listen to and interpret clients wishes and requests. Their Niu approach is rooted in collaboration and

respect. This ensures that each project is one of a kind. Clients appreciate this flexibility, and the design team's versatility and vast experience enable them to design any style, be it classical or minimalist. There is no compromise, however when it comes to quality. They insist upon only using the highest quality materials and furnishings while paying the minutest attention to detail, and the opulent finishing touches that contribute to a unique, balanced space. Their award-winning trademark style is an inviting fusion of Middle Eastern and European influences that blend to create a harmonious and timeless environment. Palermo and Gregorutti are honoured to have received numerous prestigious design awards and recognition from the industry. Niu's distinguished designs featuring a subtle fusion of Middle Eastern and European influences are often seen in prestigious design and lifestyle magazine titles.

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iu is a dynamic multi-disciplinary, award-winning boutique design studio based in the heart of Dubai, with a global portfolio. Italian architect Giorgio Palermo founded the company in 2001, under the name of Studio Ati. In 2006, architect Elena Gregorutti joined the practice as a partner. Together they continue to make their indelible mark on the design scene. Niu- a division of Studio Ati evolved from a successful strategic rebranding exercise Over the past year, they have collected several prestigious industry accolades and awards, further enhancing their reputation for design excellence in the region and beyond. For almost a decade, Palermo and Gregorutti's design eloquence and expertise have been much sought after by discerning wealthy clients for whom they designed luxurious residences in the region's most exclusive neighbourhoods. Working in tandem with their multi-national design team, Niu creates award-winning residential commercial, retail and hospitality projects as well as a high-rise tower in the trendy Dubai Marina.

PARTNER | NIU

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

FOUNDER | NIU

Private family residence by Niu in Khawaneej, Dubai

design-middleeast.com


DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

Architects 58 MENA Powerlist

IGNACIO GOMEZ/ DESIGN DIRECTOR AEDAS

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s design director at Aedas, Ignacio Gomez has been responsible for a number of key projects and establish the overall design direction of the practice in the Middle East. Designing many projects in the region including master planning, hotel and leisure, residential, transport, and cultural projects. He is currently leading a team for the design of the Dubai Metro Expo extension, Route 2020, two five start new hospitality project currently under construction in Dubai + residential masterplan in Jebel Ali. Gomez also was design director at Godwin Austen Johnson, where he designed relevant project for the region, Al Seef project in the historical part of Dubai in the Creek and the Phase 1 of the Kingdom Tower Masterplan. Before moving to the Middle East, he collaborated with B720 & David Chipperfield. For over two years, he worked on the New City of Justice, awarded with the prestigious 2010 RIBA Award. Working a very diverse portfolio that included Torre Agbar commercial tower, designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Jean Nouvel and America’s

design-middleeast.com

Cup Foredeck Building design by David Chipperfield. His work has been published in various publications including Fisuras Magazine, Future Architecture Magazine, Via Arquitectura, 2A, Middle East Architect and Construction Week, and some of the most visited architecture blogs like Dezeen and Archidaily. Gomez collaborates as guest critic at the School of Architecture & Design of the American University of Sharjah, UAE and regular speaker in different conferences in the MENA region as the World Architecture Congress in Dubai, Architectural Design Days in Riyadh, DesignMENA summit, Cityscape Global Conference and Leaders of Architecture. As managing and design director at Aedas Middle East, Gomez seeks to provide unique and individual solutions for every project and take pride in the fact that we never follow the route of formulaic design. His designs are based on deep research process and understanding of the region – its people, its culture, its history, its present and its future. The research rooted in the past makes it possible to create a unique story behind every project.


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PRINCIPAL | DABBAGH ARCHITECTS Sumaya Dabbagh is a Saudi architect educated in the UK. She founded Dabbagh Architects in 2008. The practice set out to create contemporary architecture that is culturally and environmentally sensitive. A timeless architecture that creates a positive impact on the world. Following an education at Bath University, Dabbagh began her career in London and Paris. Her return to the Gulf region was part of a quest to gain a deeper understanding of her own identity, a unique mix of influences and sensitivity towards both Western and Middle Eastern cultures. As the first RIBA Chartered practices in the Gulf region, Dabbagh Architects is known for their quality-driven design. The practice

undertakes diverse sectors, such as commercial, residential, educational, as well as cultural projects. The multi-award-winning Mleiha Archaeological Centre is globally recognised as a significant example of a new emerging approach to architecture in the UAE. Al Ain Museum as well as the Mosque of Light projects are currently ongoing and are recent additions to their portfolio of sensitive, contextual designs. Dabbagh is currently undertaking prestigious cultural projects in Saudi Arabia. Dabbagh Architects’ projects were showcased as part of the RIBA/d3 Dubai Festival of Architecture during Dubai Design Week 2020, under the theme of “Emerging Architecture in the Gulf”.

FEBRUARY 2021

French-Lebanese architect Galal Mahmoud graduated in 1986, from l’Ecole d’Architecture in Versailles and in 1987, made his first steps in the world of professional architecture, in the capital that blends character with style and classical art with a contemporary influence, Paris. Due to his diverse background, Mahmoud naturally adopts a multicultural approach in all of his undertakings. His ability to seize the spirit of a place and to capture the diversity of its influences, allows him to cast a global and authentically contextual vision on each project. GM Architects specialises in the field of high-end tourism, notably in the creation of luxury hotels and resorts. It has successfully left a mark on a wide array of countries, including Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Sultanate of Oman, France, Greece, Turkey, Senegal and Morocco. The firm increasingly solicited for large-scale developments, ensures effective global design management and constantly develops its international proficiency. GM Architects is the only Middle Eastern practice referenced by Accor, Rotana, Starwood and Rezidor, for the quality of its services, the appropriateness of its choices and the capacity to deliver a project that meets the requirements of the major hotel chains in terms of international standards. Its creative approach to projects expresses the singular philosophy of the Franco-Lebanese architect Galal Mahmoud. GM Architects’ approach is holistic and inter-disciplinary, relying on the wealth of knowledge and wisdom inherent in progressive multicultural, technologically appropriate and socially pertinent paradigms. The practice employs 40 professionals including architects and interior designers and is managed by architect Mahmoud and partners Randa Chahine, Anwar Hajj, and Elie Waked.

SUMAYA/DABBAGH

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PRESIDENT | GM ARCHITECTS

MOHAMED/ALI ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR | RMJM Mohamed Ali is the associate director at RMJM. He joined the organisation in 2013, as a senior architect and BIM Lead, having over 14 years of industry experience in the UAE and winning a BIM Award in 2011. "When I began at RMJM I was tasked with developing pre-contract project delivery technology and techniques and implementing BIM Level 2. Four years later, RMJM Dubai was recognised as one of the best BIM practices in the region. To me architecture is a puzzle with a finite number of pieces; every piece counts and makes a difference. My passion is to find the missing pieces and pull them together into a fantastic workflow. Technology has allowed us to return to the glory of the great architects of history and allowed the architects to build again. This is my role; to build virtual mockups and electronically smooth out any issues or complications before construction," shares Ali. His role is to provide consistent leadership for activities centred on initialising a project’s direction and planning, programming, design, technical application coordination, graphic depiction and publish-grade documents. Ali has developed over 25 projects of various scales from high and mid-rise residential buildings, luxury villas, hospitality, mixed-use retail, commercial, industrial and office buildings to master planning. His objective is to develop ideas that will expand my team’s creative skills by providing neat, successful and efficient building design solutions for every project. Some of the recent project by RMJM includes Riyadh Township, Riyadh, KSA; Creative District, Cairo Egypt; Thaker Gate Development, KSA; Innovation Hub Phase 2, Dubai Internet City, Dubai, UAE; and others.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

GALAL/ MAHMOUD

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Architects 60 MENA Powerlist

RAJ/PATEL

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

ARCHITECTURE DESIGN DIRECTOR GENSLER MIDDLE EAST As Architecture design director of Gensler Middle East, Raj leads a practice delivering high-profile commercial, hospitality and lifestyle projects throughout the region and Asia. Raj’s experience across different cultures influences his design approach as he weaves traditional and modern architecture into contemporary designs relevant to their cultural and contextual settings. A passionate designer, he exhibits care in creating rich, unique, and aesthetically iconic facades that not only respond to the program of the internal spaces but also the harsh external climatic environment. Patel earned a Bachelor of Architecture (Hons) from the University of Cincinnati and a Master of Architecture from Yale University. He is a registered American Architect and moved to the region 20 years ago. Patel frequently speaks at conferences and events with an aim to engage in conversations that influence design trends as well as participates in design review panels at several universities. Recently, Patel has led the studio towards a successful design of the Diplomatic Quarter Development in Riyadh and Alembic Office Building in Bangalore during the on-going pandemic as Gensler implemented remote working for its worldwide employees. The transition to collaborating virtually with clients and the studio was seamless and led to new efficient design processes. With numerous other significant office headquarters, education, mixed-use and retail, and residential projects completed or in development, Patel aims to expand his practice outside the GCC with a keener focus on North Africa and Asia-Pacific markets.

design-middleeast.com

RUAN/DAVEY TECHNICAL DIRECTOR – ARCHITECTURE ARCADIS MIDDLE EAST As a technical director, Ruan Davey is responsible for leading the architectural discipline for the Middle East region. Armed with over 21 years of experience in design, delivery and project management of high-profile building projects in the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, South Africa and Namibia, Davey has led architectural services for several prestigious construction projects including Lusail Plaza Towers in Qatar, La Mer (Jumeirah Open Beach) in Dubai, The Red Sea Coastal Village and Al Bujairi F&B Terrace projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In the past, Davey has also led the Technical Advisory team at New York University, Saadiyat Island and the multi-disciplinary design delivery of City Walk and Dubai Hills Mall. "I was instrumental in the development of a ‘one team’ delivery approach where our on-shore and off-shore architectural design teams worked together to ensure seamless project delivery across

all design phases. As a result of the recent global pandemic, we’ve had to radically adapt our methods of working across different geographies to ensure continued delivery to our key clients. I enjoy the challenges provided by large multidisciplinary projects and value the importance of truly understanding client needs and realising projects from concept to completion without compromising on the highest design standards. I believe that close collaboration with all the project stakeholders and a lean design approach is the key to successful project delivery." He was the lead architect for Wasat Al Awamiya Community development in the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia. The project received several accolades and was unveiled at a red carpet ceremony by the Governor and Mayor of the Eastern Province. Davey and his team are currently involved in the design of 4 hyper luxury hotels in the Red Sea and Lusail Plaza Towers' delivery in Qatar.

MOHAMED/AL ASSAM EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN + FOUNDER DEWAN ARCHITECTS + ENGINEERS Mohamed Al Assam has a successful leadership track record of over 39 years with a private practice in GCC, Middle East, and North Africa. Past expertise includes several domains such as executive in charge of design section, controlling a team of architects, preparation of complete architectural design package for master-planning projects, multi-storey buildings, luxurious villas, and palaces. As a chairman of the Board of Directors, Al Assam has participated in setting the strategic direction of Dewan Architects + Engineers. With his sound strategic awareness in business development, the firm has achieved several international awards and nominations. Al Assam has also played a role in leading the firm towards sustainable design. Over the past few months, many of the firm's projects have won LEED accreditation. Dewan is currently staffed with over 300 professionals and working on an extensive portfolio of projects in various sectors and across 10 countries in the GCC, Africa, and Asia.


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DAVID/LESSARD

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highly successful and well-respected architect, Jason Burnside graduated from the University of Dundee in 1996, and spent five years with a small urban design practice in London before moving to Dubai to join GAJ in 2001. Burnside was made a partner is 2008, and as a team leader, he aims to deliver holistic projects that are highly functional, energy-efficient and engaging. While he is an experienced architect across many different sectors, it is the education sector where he really shines. Burnside has forged long term relationships with clients resulting in repeat business on more than one occasion. It was Jason’s involvement with the Ladybird Early Learning Centre and The Arcadia School’s primary campus that saw the client award GAJ the third school in the portfolio – the recently completed Arcadia School’s secondary campus. In the space of a month, Burnside has handed over two new projects – the new Arcadia School’s secondary campus in

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PARTNER GODWIN AUSTEN JOHNSON (GAJ)

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

JASON/ BURNSIDE

Dubai and the new SPACE (Sports and Performing Arts Centre of Excellence) at Dubai College with work continuing on the ISG School in Saudi Arabia. As an expert in his field, Burnside is also highly sought after as a speaker and is regularly found on the stage at industry events such as The Big 5 and Cityscape Global. Burnside’s desire to create great architecture is clear to see within his vast experience which ranges from concept through to award-winning built projects and, as one of the longest-serving architects in the firm, he has designed and delivered some of GAJ’s high profile projects including Serenia Residences on The Palm Jumeirah, Mysk Al Mouj in Muscat, The Gate Village DIFC in partnership with Hopkins & Partners; Helel Residence and the Federal National Council in partnership with Ehrlich Architects. He currently leads a team of highly skilled architects all with different strengths and approaches and all working on different projects. He continues to be hands-on in designing projects and mentoring his team. GAJ has completed a number of projects over the last 12 months including Vida Creek Harbour, Dubai; The Arcadia School’s Secondary Campus; Garden Bay residential development in northern India; Hilton Garden Inn Kuwait; Midscale hotel in Kuwait; The SPACE at Dubai College; amongst others.

David Lessard is a partner and design director at H+A; an architecture and interior design studio specialising in healthcare, hospitality, and wellness design. A native of New York City with and graduate of the prestigious Pratt Institute School of Architecture, his portfolio features notable works with internationally acclaimed firms such as Perkins+Will, Allied Works, and Rafael Vinoly Architects. Lessard ’s design ethos adheres to a philosophy that form and material are a direct response to context, culture and environment. Understanding the local vernacular and respect for the human scale are essential undertones to his design thinking. He believes design can create opportunities for well-being in all senses of the term - enhancing the way we work, live and play through thoughtful designs that are relevant, creative and fit for their intended purpose - responsibly future-proofed and sustainable. He has held a seat on the AIA Middle East Chapter Board of Directors. As Membership Director he has contributed to the growth of the regional chapter, which in his tenure has become the largest international chapter worldwide. Lessard is active in the wider design community as a design critic, lecturer, conference participant and contributing editor – with articles in major regional publications, participation on design awards juries, and invited speaker on international platforms such as Downtown Design, Index Design Talks, and Arabian Travel Market -demonstrating his thought leadership in hospitality design.

FEBRUARY 2021

DESIGN DIRECTOR H+A

design-middleeast.com


Architects 62 MENA Powerlist

IVAR/ KRASINSKI

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

DESIGN DIRECTOR + MASTER PLANNER EDGE ARCHITECTS

Ivar Krasinski is an architect with 25 years of experience, working as the design director and master planner for EDGE. He has designed and delivered over 14 Million square feet of buildings and worked on master plans totalling over 5000 hectares. Starting his career in sports architecture, some of his early projects include Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, Cleveland Browns, and Bahrain National stadium. Not limited to large sports projects, Krasinski has also worked on designs for Dubai Motor City, KAEC, KAFD, creating a large mixed-use and master planning portfolio, which merges large complex data streams and optimises performance by balancing the public realm requirements, environmental consciousness, use mix and financial models, all while creating human spaces where life and family can thrive. His projects have won multiple recognitions, including the multi-award-winning 1/JBR and award for the most sustainable hospital for Al Mafraq Hospital. Krasinski’s main focus professionally is the application of the multi-disciplinary Integrated Design Process (IDP) approach and the way it reduces the embodied energy and overall energy use of buildings while reducing both capex and opex. Net Zero and pandemic-responsive design are at the top of his agenda today, and he leads a multi-disciplinary team in the design of a large mixed-use development in Masdar Sustainable City, with true Net Zero components (without the use of offsets, but equal energy produced as used), 4 pearl Estidama buildings, multiple LEED platinum, as well as WELL Gold buildings.

design-middleeast.com

MICHAEL/LEWIS GROUP DESIGN DIRECTOR BREWER SMITH BREWER GROUP (BSBG) Michael Lewis leads +studio, the Brewer Smith Brewer Group (BSBG) design hub. He is a highly intuitive and creative design leader, focussed on producing experiential architecture for people. Lewis’s project portfolio includes Dubai projects The Beach, La Mer, the vision for Nikki Beach, City Walk, Ferrari World on Yas Island, and most recently for BSBG the award-winning Visa Headquarters building and SHA Emirates in Abu Dhabi. Lewis’ enthusiasm for all facets of design is instantly infectious, and he is a renowned motivator and mentor for talented young designers. His principles are founded upon an understanding of how people use and interact with space, and his work is targeted at creating an emotive connection between the architecture and the end-user.

“One of the concepts I believe in incredibly strongly, is that design is not necessarily just about the architecture,” Lewis explains. “It’s also about the spaces in and around the buildings and having an understanding of what people perceive. Great design never loses focus of the end-user.” Having joined BSBG in late 2019, Lewis has overseen the expansion of BSBG’s design studio, which now has prestigious projects in London and Saudi Arabia to add to its already impressive portfolio. BSBG +studio has recently been engaged to design multiple expansive projects in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia - now the key market in the Middle East, and BSBG is close to formally announcing its establishment of a permanent base in Riyadh.

AHMED/AL-ALI + FARID/ESMAEIL CO-FOUNDERS | X ARCHITECTS UAE-based Ahmed and Farid graduated from the American University of Sharjah with degrees in architecture. They both set up X Architecture in 2003. X-Architects projects and work have gained continuous recognition and have been exhibited in international reputed venues like Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in London in 2011 and Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen 2014. In 2010, Ahmed was honoured with the prestigious and one of the highest ranked local awards, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Award for Young Business Leaders. Ahmed ardently contributes to various research projects and has collaborated on Abu Dhabi’s Urban Planning Council Building and neighbourhood guidelines. He is a board member of the Canadian University of Dubai, the

UAE University of Al Ain and the Al Hosn University in Abu Dhabi. Ahmed recently lectured and joined a panel discussion called ‘Housing the Spring’ at Harvard University. Farid’s work has been recognised internationally through various awards. He was awarded the Holcim Award for Sustainable Construction 2008, the Arc Middle-East award for Architecture 2009 and 2010, the Cityscape Award for Sustainable master plan. Farid has lectured and in various universities and institutions worldwide. He was a speaker at TEDx in Abu Dhabi, Harvard University, University of Toronto and Doha Architecture Forum. He exhibited and contributed to Venice Biennale 2008, 2014 and 2016, Louisiana museum of modern Art and Archiprix.


D E S I G N - M I D D L E E A S T. C O M

ARCHITECTURE LEADERS AWARDS 2021

MARCH 31, 2021 SOFITEL DUBAI THE OBELISK

NOMINATE NOW FOR SPONSORSHIP ENQUIRIES JOAQUIM D’COSTA +971 50 440 2706 | jo@bncpublishing.net

FOR EDITORIAL ENQUIRIES ROMA ARORA roma@bncpublishing.net

KASUN ILLANKOON +971 56 135 4769 kasun@bncpublishing.net


64 Review

ART DECO

LUXURY DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

SOFITEL DUBAI THE OBELISK

WHEN FRENCH ART DE VIVRE MEETS ANCIENT EGYPTIAN HERITAGE IN THE HEART OF DUBAI WORDS CHANTAL SACRE

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nspired by the Luxor Obelisk in Place de La Concorde in Paris, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk emerges from the lifestyle destination of WAFI at the heart of Dubai, blending a touch of French decadence and Egyptian heritage with the very best of the local UAE culture. In Ancient Egypt, an Obelisk was a prominent monument, built to commemorate people, events or even to honor the gods. Today, Sofitel celebrates the iconic design and architecture of an Obelisk crowned with a gold pyramidion, standing out and up in Dubai’s skyline. A 230-meter property welcoming people to the French Art de Vivre!

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FEBRUARY 2021

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GUESTS ARE IMMEDIATELY TRANSPORTED TO THE VALLEY OF THE KINGS AND QUEENS IN LUXOR, AS THEY’RE WELCOMED INTO THE STRIKING 18 METER-HIGH LOBBY. Conceived by Arkiteknik International Consulting Engineers under the direction of developer MKM Commercial Holdings LLC., with interiors designed by WA International, The Obelisk is an architectural masterpiece where timeless Egyptian symbols elegantly embrace Art Deco lines and curves, orchestrated by the elegant touch of French sofistication. Rich colors, bold geometry, glamour and luxury are au rendez-vous at Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk.

Visitors experience a grand arrival upon entering Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk as they walk through the magnificent doors of a grand Pylon – the colossal gateway of an Egyptian temple. Through the striking architecture and lavish interiors, grandeur runs throughout: Passing mounted statues of Anubiz, the Egyptian god of mummification and the afterlife, and guided by the ceramic flooring showcasing the Nile, guests are immediately transported to the Valley of the Kings and Queens in Luxor, Eygpt, as they’re welcomed into the striking 18 meter-high lobby: >> design-middleeast.com


66 Review

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FEBRUARY 2021

Majestic pillars are engraved with hieroglyphics and adorned with swathes of gold, and a monumental 9×4 meter golden falcon, timeless symbol of “Horus” the Egyptian god of sky and national bird of the UAE, overlooks the entire area. On each side of the golden gate, the glamour and elegance of the Tiffany inspired chandeliers overwhelm the eyes. Handcrafted in Egypt and weighing threetons each, the Nile lotus-shaped chandeliers are an impressive blend of French design and Egyptian symbolism.

GUESTROOMS AND SUITES ARE MODERN AND SPACIOUS, DRESSED IN NEUTRAL TONES AND COMPLEMENTED BY ART DECO LINES AND CONTRASTING MATERIALS.

design-middleeast.com

French marble, well-known for its striking colours and patterns giving it the magnitude which made it so popular for use in places such as the Palace of Versailles and the Georges V hotel in Paris, is blended in Art Deco throughout the property. 498 luxury guestrooms and suites and 97 furnished and serviced residences with swirl patterned floors and floor-to-ceiling windows give more visual access to the beauty outside with an abundance of natural light. Depicting ancient Egyptians’ daily life, carved walls spanning from the eighth to the 17th floor can be seen from the corridors. Guestrooms and suites are modern and spacious, dressed in neutral tones and complemented by Art Deco lines and contrasting materials. The touch of French elegance is found in every room and suite with Lanvin toiletries and Hermes amenities. Among the highlights are three outstanding and unparalleled suites designed by award-winning firm Duccio Grassi Architects on floors 47, 48 and 49: The Imperial Suite, the Presidential Suite “Cleopatra” and Ambassador Suite “Napoleon” are the height of French luxury and refinement. The presidential suite has a private terrace located on the 48th floor, offering spectacular views of Dubai and ideal for hosting exclusive events. >>

Three Bedroom Apartment Living Area


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FEBRUARY 2021

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design-middleeast.com


68 Review

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

BRASSERIE BOULUD Blending Art Deco and Modern design with bright royal colors of white, black, gold and burgundy, Brasserie Boulud offers a true French Brasserie experience: In true Art Deco fashion, a soaring mirrored ceiling accentuated by modern chandeliers adds to the overall air of elegance. Incomplete patterns on the marble floor of the brasserie reflect the flooring seen in the historic temples of Luxor. Designed by celebrity chef Daniel Bouloud and inspired by the French art de vivre, the restaurant offers French contemporary cuisine, rooted in tradition. The venue represents Chef Daniel Boulud’s casual approach to fine dining. TAIKO From Amsterdam to Dubai, Taiko offers sensational experience of award-winning Asian cuisine, flavors and textures from across Asia. Curated by Atelier EPJ, the darker Asian style interiors with red touches take patrons on a journey into the vernacular and lore of Asian culture. Revolving around a char-fired robata grill, the show-kitchen highlights the dining experience, and a 45 degrees angled sushi stages the drama of food preparation. Decorated in cherry blossoms in spring, lush greens during summer and glowing red acorn in autumn, the center of the dining area is dominated by an enchanted ‘tree’ metaphorically representing the significance of the four seasons – The tree changes every year as a part of the Taiko New Year celebration.

THE NINE A symbol of the nine lives of an Egyptian cat, The Nine gastropub is an invitation to explore Ancient Egypt while enjoying masterfully created cocktails and classic English culinary highlights. With an unparalleled architecture and a sensual feline twist, entering The Nine is like travelling in time, discovering the story of the goddess Bastet – the ancient Egyptian goddess of protection and the three pyramids of Giza; Menkaure, Khafre and the Great Pyramid of Khufu symbolised in the three inverted triangles hanging from the ceiling at the bar area. design-middleeast.com

Brasserie Boulud

Taiko Dubai

The Nine Gastropub


SOLEIL POOL & LOUNGE Inspired by the waters of the Mediterranean, Soleil Pool & Lounge is an idyllic haven equipped with a sunken pool bar, chic private cabanas and a modern French patio. This luxurious space offers guests the full French Riviera experience with neutral and nautical tones running through the décor. With white finishes and poolside luxury, Soleil Pool & Lounge offers guests the opportunity to immerse themselves in French luxury and joie de vivre. With the choice between the standard cabana and the VIP cabana, each will transport guests to a different destination, from Santorini in Greece and Capri in Italy, to St Tropez in France and Ibiza in Spain. The VIP state-of-the-art and fully furnished cabanas are fitted with privacy curtains, showers as well as a Jacuzzi.

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LA VERANDA La Veranda is the perfect space for parties, social gatherings, pre or post function area and more. Accommodating up to 150 people in an indoor alfresco experience, a skylight ceiling changes the mood lighting according to the hours of the day, providing guests the effect of sitting on an outdoor garden terrace in the open azure sky with streaks of cloud trailing across.

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

BIJOU PATISSERIE A bijou in the heart of the hotel lobby, the patisserie is a paradise of sweet indulgence. Taking center stage, a prominent marble counter brims with an array of delicate pastries and countless delicious treats. With bold geometric forms visible on the ceiling, an overall ivory colour palette, curving furniture and smooth polished surfaces, the Art Deco theme makes it perfect for an afternoon gouter.

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70 Pick of the month

DESIGN MIDDLE EAST

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FEBRUARY 2021

The butterfly effect

design-middleeast.com

Papilio swinging will not cause a typhoon, but small things can have an impact on a complex system, and if the home needed a big impact, Papilio is a scene-stealer! Papilio lighting collection is inspired by the flapping wings of a butterfly (Papilio means butterfly in Latin) born from an over-sized, painted metal frame with white Murano triplex glass diffusers. Designed by Armando Bruno and Alberto Torres, the range features 5 pendants which grow from 67cm through to 135cm wide, 2 different sized wall lights, floor and table versions. Available in embossed black, embossed white, antique pink, forest green or burgundy. Availability: masierogroup.com


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