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NEWS, DATA, ANALYSIS AND STRATEGIC INSIGHTS FOR ARCHITECTS IN THE GCC

APRIL 2013 / VOLUME 07 / ISSUE 04 An ITP Business Publication


SAFE
HAVEN
Discovering
the calm
environment
and Arabic
inspired details
of the Dubai
Foundation
for Women
and Children,
designed by
U+A Architects
p2// FRONT
Foster + Partners unveils new
airport in Amman, Jordan
CASE STUDY
NORRS SCULPTED
SAUDI OFFICE TOWER
INTERVIEW
Veteran architect
Steven Miller
on his move to
construction
rm Shapoorji
Pallonji
/p22
COMMENT
ARE ARCHITECTS
EVER SATISFIED?
p4// PEOPLE
RNL and Woods Bagot appoint
new UAE principals
p14// PROFILE
The life and work of Pritzker
Prize winner Toyo Ito
Fagerhult Lighting Group Middle and Far East
Dubai wwwagerhuLccn
Light and modern technology in new combination
pparec uses n a new way Lh Ls edgeL acryc sheeL L s a sLysh
and energy emcenL unnare cr Lhe ncdern wcrkpace envrcnnenL
APRIL | CONTENTS
www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT 1
2
FRONT
Top stories in the world
of architecture, including
Jordans new airport
4
6
PROJECTS
A round up of the latest
project news from MENA
and the rest of the world
12
THE BIG PICTURE
The captivating skylight
in Foster + Partners ME
hotel in London
14
22
INTERVIEW
MEA speaks to Steven
Miller and colleagues at
Shapoorji Pallonji
28
SITE VISIT
60
CULTURE
A snapshot of funky
furniture, books and other
accessories in the market
40
CASE STUDIES
Bakus new icon, Al Khobar
of ces, Foster in London
and a cooking school
56
Exploring U+As new
shelter for women and
children in Dubai
THE WORK
A detailed reference
section covering all the best
projects in the world
PEOPLE
Key regional appointments,
famous architect news and
top quotes
APRIL 2013 VOLUME 7 ISSUE 04
64
LAST WORD
Mark McCarthy, education
design principal at Perkins
Eastman, on school design
PROFILE
The life and work of this
years Pritzker Prize
winner, Toyo Ito
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
FRONT | APRIL
2
1941
Year that
Japans Toyo
Ito was born
(page 14)
FOSTER + PARTNERS
AIRPORT OPENS IN JORDAN
Striking roof structure contains a series of modular concrete domes
Queen Alia International Air-
port, the new gateway to Amman
designed by Foster + Partners, has
of cially opened.
The modular solution allows for
future expansion, growing by 6%
per annum for the next 25 years,
increasing capacity from 3.5 million
to 12 million passengers per annum
by 2030.
Mouzhan Majidi, chief executive,
Foster + Partners, added: The new
terminal building is energy ef cient,
will accommodate phased expan-
sion and provides a dynamic symbol
for Jordan.
In response to Ammans climate,
with dramatic swings in tempera-
ture, the building is constructed
largely from concrete.
The tessellated roof canopy
contains a series of shallow concrete
domes, which extend to shade the
facades. Each dome provided a
modular unit for construction.
Domes branch out from the sup-
porting columns like the leaves of a
The capacity
can grow by 6%
per annum.
desert palm and daylight oods the
concourse through split beams at the
column junctions.
Echoing the veins of a leaf, a geo-
metric pattern based on traditional
Islamic forms is applied to each
exposed sof t.
Two piers of departure gates
run along both sides of the central
building, which contains the main
processing areas and shops, lounges
and restaurants.
The architect is also designing
Kuwait International Airport.
12M
ESTIMATED
CAPACITY
PER ANNUM
BY 2030
TOP STORY
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APRIL | FRONT
www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT 3
MZ won the Masterplanning Award
for its design of The Valley City
Qatar at this years MIPIM Ar-
chitectural Review Future Project
Awards in Cannes, France.
Designed for Qatari real estate
company Sak Holding Group, the
project was one of around 200
entries to the awards that focus on
projects on the drawing board.
The judges said the project stood
out as an unusual proposition for
Gulf city-making without recourse
to the ubiquitous glass tower.
The panel also noted: The analy-
sis of how conventional urban forms
are the consequence of inheritance
MZs Qatar masterplan
triumphs in Cannes
SOM designs twin
towers for Emaar
WEIRD PROJECT OF THE MONTH
DESIGNMENA.COM
DATASTREAM
A sky bridge links the two towers.
and sub division provides the basis
for an intriguing alternative.
Located on a 3 million m
2
desert
plot, the Valley City is intended as
a settlement for middle-income
expatriates and Qatari citizens,
developed using Chaos Theory as a
foundation and mathematical tool.
Emaar Properties has revealed its
plans for The Address Residence
Sky View in Downtown Dubai,
a 50-storey twin tower complex
designed by SOM.
A sky bridge podium linking the
tower towers will contain a restau-
rant, ballroom, innity pool and an
amenity deck.
Emaar has once again teamed up
with the architect behind its 828m-
high show-stopper Burj Khalifa.
The towers will contain a new
180-bed business hotel, as well as
532 residences and serviced apart-
ments which will link directly to
Dubai Mall and the metro system.
d i t i
Chaos Theory was an inspiration.
This months top stories from the online
home of Middle East Architect
MZ Architects wins MIPIM award for
Qatar masterplan
Toyo Ito wins 2013 Pritzker Prize
HOKs Flame Towers near completion
Woods Bagot appoints new principal for
Dubai of ce
Dubai to receive mandatory green
building rules
Vincent Callebaut, a Belgian architect known for
creating urban eco-visions, has designed a project
entitled Asian Cairns for Shenzhen, China, which
looks like giant pebbles stuck together.
MOST EXPENSIVE BUILDINGS
Data: Emporis/ World Record Academy
10M
Budget, in
AED, for
U&As Dubai
clinic (page 28)
150M
Height of
Norr Groups Al
Khobar of ce
tower (page 44)
1. PALACE OF THE
PARLIAMENT, BUCHAREST
$4 BILLION
2. PALAZZO, LAS VEGAS
$1.9 BILLION
3. TAIPEI 101, TAIWAN
$1.8 BILLION
4.BURJ KHALIFA, DUBAI
$1.8 BILLION
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
FRONT | APRIL
4
The Abu Dhabi of ce of design rm RNL
has appointed Jess Alexander as associate
principal, a specialist in sustainable urban
design and master planning.
Alexanders focus has been on design
and project management on a variety of
new cities, communities and develop-
ments, many of them located in the UAE
and Middle East.
His experience includes the design and
documentation of a 500-acre LEED-
Neighbourhood Development pilot project
for the US Green Building Council.
Alexander coordinates and implement-
ing strategies on a number of RNLs mas-
ter planning projects, as well as managing
several schemes in the MENA region.
The Denver-based rm also promoted
Brad Buchanan, leader of the commercial
market, and Andrew Irvine, leader of the
urban design market, to the companys
board of directors.
In addition to its of ces in Denver and
Abu Dhabi, RNL is present in Los Angeles,
Phoenix, Washington DC and Singapore.
PEOPLE
RNL promotes Abu
Dhabi architect
New Dubai principal
at Woods Bagot
KSA developers and
owners should look more
closely into building
more afordably-priced
units, especially as the
Kingdoms low- and
middle-income
population is
rapidly expanding.
MOHAMAD RABIH
ITANI, vice president,
marking, Injaz
Research conducted
in Scotland and South
Africa has proven that
thatched roofs and
timber pergolas are the
most sensible and envi-
ronmentally friendly roof-
ing and shading struc-
tures available today.
ANDRE VAN HEERDEN,
managing partner, Cape
Reed Group Of Companies
Jess Alexander is now associate principal.
Diferent styles
of management can
lead to someone
who is a good
project manager on
one job but not
another.
STEVE LAW,
director
of project
management,
Sweett Group
60 SECOND INTERVIEW
RIZWAN SAJAN, FOUNDER
AND CHAIRMAN OF DANUBE
What are the latest trends in
ooring in the Middle East?
The trend is moving from
traditional brick designs to
modern herringbone or sh
bone patterns, diagonal oor-
ing and picture frame wood
ooring. Also, a combination
of colours and wood species
gives a rich look.
What is your most popular
ooring in the region?
One of the most popular is
laminated HDF oors as they
ofer ample design options at
economic prices. Engineered
ooring is also another pre-
ferred option for the UAE, as
these oors are well manufac-
tured to eliminate the natural
expansion and contraction ef-
fect on the wood in the given
climatic conditions.
Julie Knight has been appointed principal.
Julie Knight has recently been appointed
principal at the Dubai of ce of Woods
Bagot, having spent over 15 years working
throughout the Middle East.
Knight leads the Workplace Sector
in the Dubai studio and is also a senior
consultant member in the Workplace
Consulting team.
After studying architecture in Austra-
lia, Knight relocated to New York where
she worked for many years in a leading
workplace design rm whose clients in-
cluded the worlds top multinationals.
Since relocating to the Middle East, she
has continued to prove herself in the areas
of workplace interior design and project
management. She has played an integral
role in the major consulting and interior
design project for Qatar Petroleum in
Doha, said to be the largest workplace
project in the world.
Her 15 years of professional experience
in the Middle East has enabled her to de-
velop a deep understanding of the cultural
and business climate of the region.
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MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
FRONT | APRIL
6
3
DUBAI
Flower tower on show at
UAE design show
A residential tower with plants built
into its faades and balconies was
unveiled at the Outdoor Design
Build & Supply Show, which took
place in Dubai in March. The
Flower Tower is the creation of
French architect Edouard Francois,
and is designed to be an extension of
surrounding parks, blending gardens
with concrete and glass. The novel
concept was presented by Italian
company Teracre.
1
MENA PROJECT SNAPSHOT
2 3
1
ABU DHABI
Construction to start on
Mushrif Central Park
The redevelopment of Mushrif
Central Park will start shortly, with
completion set for early 2015.
Developed by Al Ain Properties, the
project will transform the existing
park, currently only open to women
and children, into a space for the
community. Dubbed the peoples
park it will include a childrens gar-
den, performing arts venue, botanic
garden and shade house, an evening
garden and a petting zoo.
2
TURKEY
Work begins on Istanbuls
nancial centre
Construction has started on the
US$2.6bn Istanbul International
Financial Centre, masterplanned
by HOK, which is being built on a
70ha site on the citys Asian side.
The IIFC will house of ces for the
countrys nancial market govern-
ing bodies, banks, and other related
businesses. It will include ap-
proximately 4.2 million m
2
of of ce,
residential, retail, conference, hotel
and park space.
ABU DHABI | DUBAI | BAGHDAD | BASRA | RIYADH | DOHA | MANILA | MUMBAI
Our core values lie within our commitment to developing long term successful
relationships with our clients and partners. Our extensive portfolio of successful
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www.dewan-architects.com
ADEC SCHOOLS, AL AIN & ABU DHABI, UAE
UNITED SQUARE, ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
AL KARKH DEVELOPMENT, BAGHDAD, IRAQ
BASRA CULTURAL PALACE, BASRA, IRAQ
ARAC HOTEL, AL KHOBAR, SAUDI ARABIA AKH TOWER, DAMMAM, SAUDI ARABIA PHOENIX TOWER, DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
FRONT | APRIL
8
3
2
3
ABU DHABI
Stride Treglown wins two
Reem island academies
Stride Treglown has been appointed
by Advanced Education Services,
LLC to deliver two academies in the
centre of the new Najmat commu-
nity on Reem Island in Abu Dhabi.
Najmat Al-Reem Arabic Academy
(pictured) and Najmat Al-Reem
International Academy will house
2,000 students each and are due to
open in September 2014. A signa-
ture framed canopy sails over the
focal elevation of each academy.
2
QATAR
Hollands OMA to master-
plan Airport City in Doha
Dutch studio OMA has been chosen
to masterplan a business and resi-
dential development linking Doha
with the new Hamad International
Airport. Airport City is a 1,000ha
masterplan with four districts along
a green spine running parallel with
the airports runways. This spine
connects the business and logistics
district with the aviation district,
while a residential area sits next to
the new Doha Bay Marina.
1
DUBAI
DEWAs LEED Platinum
building opens
DEWA has opened the largest gov-
ernment building in the world to se-
cure a LEED Platinum rating. Green
features reduce energy consumption
by 66% and water by 48%. Abullah
Obaidullah, EVP of Water and Civil
at DEWA, said: The new building,
which occupies 340,000 square feet
is part of our Green Buildings ini-
tiative to achieve the highest levels
of ef ciency in the consumption of
electricity and water.
1
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MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
FRONT | APRIL
10
1
DENMARK
Work starts on energy
plant with built-in ski slope
Danish rm BIG celebrated the start
of construction on its audacious
waste to energy plant which doubles
as a ski slope, outside Copenhagen.
Located in an industrial area near
the city centre, the roof of the plant
will contain a ski slope of varying
skill levels for the citizens in the
capital. The project is the largest
environmental initiative in Denmark
and replaces the outdated Amager-
forbraending plant.
1
GLOBAL PROJECT SNAPSHOT
2 3
2
SWEDEN
Henning Larsen and Buro
Happold win R&D centre
A team containing Henning Larsen
Architects and Buro Happold has
won a competition for the worlds
largest facility for neutron-based
research in Lund, Sweden. The
campus contains a 180m-long hall
in which protons are red at a target,
sending neutrons to a number of
halls with measuring instruments.
Research at ESS is expected to
commence in 2019, while the entire
facility will be completed by 2025.
3
UK
UNStudio unveils rst
project in United Kingdom
Amsterdam-based UNStudio has
unveiled a 30-storey residential
block called Canaletto, on Londons
City Road, the rms rst ever UK
project. The tower features a curving
faade of metal and glass that breaks
into a series of three to ve storey
clusters, conceived as individual
neighbourhoods. Canaletto provides
190 apartments, a health club, swim-
ming pool, private cinema, restau-
rant and a members club.
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MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
FRONT | APRIL
12
APRIL | FRONT
www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT 13
THE BIG PICTURE
THE LIGHT FANTASTIC
Captured by photographer Nigel
Young, this image depicts the
beguiling skylight in Foster + Part-
ners newly opened ME Hotel in
London. The lobby is housed within
a nine storey-high pyramidal space,
clad entirely in white marble.
PROFILE | TOYO ITO
14 MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
Tama Art University Library
(Hachiji campus), 20042007,
Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, Japan.
Dome in Odate, 19931997,
Odate-shi, Akita, Japan.
Yatsushiro Municipal Museum,
1988 1991, Yatsushiro-shi,
Kumamoto, Japan.
Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, 2002,
London, UK.
TOYO ITO | PROFILE
15 www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT
any famous architects, such as Richard
Meier, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid are
beloved for their signature styles that are
instantly recognisable. Others, including
Japanese architect Toyo Ito, are admired for
their purposeful rejection of a house style.
Upon receiving the 2013 Pritzker Prize, the 71-year-old designer
remarked: I will never x my architectural style and never be
satised with my works.
Itos self-critical and humble approach to design was one of his
key qualities, according to the Pritzker jury. For nearly 40 years,
Toyo Ito has pursued excellence. His work has remained static
and has never been predictable, said Glenn Murcutt, Australian
architect and Pritzker Laureate 2002.
Fellow juror, Chinese architect Yung Ho Chang, added: Al-
though Mr Ito has built a great number of buildings in his career,
in my view, he has been working on one project all along to push
the boundaries of architecture. And to achieve that goal, he is not
A look at the life and work of 2013 Pritzker Prize-winner, Japanese architect Toyo Ito
BOUNDARY
PUSHER
PROFILE
M
Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture,
20062011, Imabari-shi, Japan.
PROFILE | TOYO ITO
16 MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
afraid of letting go what he has accom-
plished before.
Toyo Ito was born on June 1, 1941 in
Seoul, Korea to Japanese parents. In
1943, Ito, his mother, and his two elder
sisters moved back to Japan. Two years
later, Itos father returned to Japan, and
they all lived in his hometown of Shi-
mosuwa-machi in Nagano Prefecture.
After the death of Itos father in 1953,
the rest of family operated a factory that
manufactured miso (bean paste).
In his youth, Ito admits to not having
a great interest in architecture, rather
a strong passion for baseball. This
changed when he attended an under-
graduate diploma design course at the
University of Tokyo, subsequently
winning the universitys top prize for a
design project.
Ito began working in the rm of
Kiyonori Kikutake & Associates after
he graduated in 1965. By 1971, he was
ready to start his own studio in Tokyo,
and named it Urban Robot (Urbot),
changing the name to Toyo Ito & As-
sociates, Architects in 1979.
One of Itos rst projects in 1971 was a
home, in a suburb of Tokyo, called Alu-
minum House. As the name suggests,
the structure consisted of a wooden
frame completely covered in aluminum.
Most of his early works were residences,
including the 1976 house White U for
his sister, greatly admired for its strik-
ing form, but demolished in 1997.
In the 80s, Ito adopted a minimalist
approach, developing a lightness in-
spired by air and wind. He cites the Sen-
dai Mediatheque, completed in 2001 in
Sendai City, Miyagi, Japan, as one of the
high points of his career. Functioning
as a library and art gallery, the building
is a simple structure, consisting of at
concrete slabs, honeycomb steel plates with concrete, penetrated
by 13 tubes.
More recently, Ito created a building in the fashionable Omote-
sando area of Tokyo for TODS, an Italian shoe and handbag com-
pany, in which trees provided a source of inspiration. The higher
up the building, the thinner and more numerous the branches
become, with a higher ratio of openings. Similarly, the building
unfolds as interior spaces with various ambiances which relate to
the various intended uses.
In the modern period, architecture has been
rated highest for its originality. As a result, the
most primal themes why a building is made
and for whom have been forgotten.
After designing critically-acclaimed buildings such as Sendai
Mediatheque, Ito became an architect of international impor-
tance during the early-2000s, which led to project commissions
throughout Asia, Europe, North America and South America. He
designed the Main Stadium for the 2009 World Games in Kaoh-
siung and the under-construction Taichung Metropolitan Opera
House, both in Taiwan.
In Europe, Ito and his practice renovated the faade of the
Suites Avenue Apartments with striking stainless steel waves
TOYO ITO | PROFILE
17 www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT
and designed the temporary Serpentine Pavilion Gallery in
Londons Hyde Park in an annual showcase commissioned to
a superstar architect. The pavilion, completed in 2002, was
described by The Guardians Jonathan Glancey as one of the
most exquisite and revolutionary buildings of recent times.
Other projects he worked on during this period include the
White O residence in Marbella, Chile, and the never-built
University of California, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacic Film
Archive in California.
Back in his home country, the earthquake and tsunami of
March 2011 spurred Ito and a group of other Japanese archi-
tects to develop the concept of Home-for-All communal
space for survivors.
In the book Toyo Ito Forces of Nature published by Princ-
eton Architectural Press, he remarked: What we see here
are very origins of architecture, the minimal shaping of com-
munal spaces. An architect is someone who can make such
spaces for meagre meals show a little more humanity, make
them a little more beautiful, a little more comfortable.
He added: In the modern period, architecture has been
rated highest for its originality. As a result, the most primal
themes why a building is made and for whom have been
forgotten. A disaster zone, where everything is lost ofers the
opportunity for us to take a fresh look, from the ground up, at
what architecture really is.
Home-for-all may consist of small buildings, but it calls to
the fore the vital question of what form architecture should
take in the modern era even calling into question the most
primal themes, the very meaning of architecture.
Itos portfolio and signicance can also be seen in the mu-
seum of architecture that bears his name on the small island
of Omishima in the Seto Inland Sea. Also designed by Ito, the
museum opened in 2011 and showcases his past projects as
well as serving as a workshop for young architects.
Two buildings are located in the complex the main build-
ing Steel Hut and the nearby Silver Hut, a recreation of the
architects former home in Tokyo from 1984.
Prior to winning the Pritzker Prize, Ito scooped The Royal
Institute of British Architects Royal Gold Medal and the 22
nd

Praemium Imperiale in 2010.
Ito becomes the sixth Japanese architect to receive a
Pritzker, the rst ve being the late Kenzo Tange in 1987,
Fumihiko Maki in 1993, Tadao Ando in 1995, and the team of
Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa in 2010.
The wealth of design quality that has emerged from the
East Asian country is typied by Itos modus operandi, where
building projects are viewed as a challenge rather than a
chance for an ego-driven tour-de-force.
When one building is completed, I become painfully
aware of my own inadequacy, and it turns into energy to
challenge the next project. Probably this process must keep
repeating itself in the future, he remarked, after winning the
biggest prize in architecture.
D C 8 V 8
C S D
D UAL C 8
1
D C G
S I A D
C 8
I I C
k I M
<&W
Chest of Drawers in Acrylux
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
COMMENT | EDITORS LETTER
18
Whenever I go on a site visit, its common for the architect
to point out a detail that bugs them, such as a window not
lining up or a skirting board that protrudes too much.
EDITORS LETTER
FEELING GOOD
Is it possible for architects to be satised
with their work?
GOT A
COMMENT?
If you have any
comments to
make on this
months issue,
please e-mail
oliver.
ephgrave
@itp.com
Perfection? Toyo Itos Serpentine
Gallery pavilion in London.
T
his months big news in
the architecture world
was the announcement
of the annual Pritzker
Prize, which went to Toyo Ito, a
71-year-old Japanese architect.
Remarkably, Ito was the sixth
Pritzker laureate from Japan,
which shows the strength of design
stemming from the Asian country.
Despite being praised for his
impeccable and inventive portfo-
lio, Ito was not in the mood to pat
himself on the back and bask in the
glory of his accomplishment.
Instead, he remarked: I will
never x my architectural style and
never be satised with my works.
Similar words were uttered by
Norman Foster during a talk in Abu
Dhabi last November, alongside
Frank Gehry and Jean Nouvel. Fos-
ter said: Architects are...anti social,
because they are so consumed by
the process of design. I nd that I
am never satised. I always want to
have another go. In our practice we
are always redesigning up to the last
possible minute.
This got me thinking. Is it pre-
requisite for every top architect to
be an extreme perfectionist that is
never satised?
You can certainly see a quest for
perfectionism, or at least complete
control, in the works of many great
architects. The likes of Frank Lloyd
Wright, Le Corbusier, Mies van der
Rohe would, in many cases, design
every detail down to the furniture,
rather than let anyone else tamper
with their visions.
This perfectionism, of course, is
not just limited to famous archi-
tects. Whenever I go on a site visit,
its very common for the architect
to point out a minor detail that bugs
them, such as a window not lining
up or a skirting board that pro-
trudes too much.
Needless to say, perfectionism
can make the diference between
something good and something
great. And it extends to any creative
discipline, not just architecture.
But surely it is possible to create
something fantastic and feel proud
of it? Surely architects are able to
let go of the tiny aws, that most
people probably wont even notice,
and feel a sense of achievement?
I can imagine that each archi-
tect is diferent, and the degree of
perfectionism will depend on the
individuals personality and level of
involvement in the design. Perhaps
for architects such as Ito and
Foster, its impossible to be profes-
sionally fullled, despite all their
success and plaudits.
Not being a practicing architect,
I am unable to answer these ques-
tions. Id be interested to hear the
thoughts of Middle East Architect
readers. Do you feel a sense of
satisfaction when a great project
is completed, or are you unable to
sleep if the skirting boards are a
couple of millimetres too thick?
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A
t the close of the rst
quarter of 2013, we
can cast an eye over the
architectural develop-
ment of the Emirates.
It appears as though the cranes are
once again moving in Dubai and Abu
Dhabi. The reasoning for this, how-
ever, varies between the two emirates.
In Dubai, while a few new mega
projects have been announced for the
near future, the intention is to com-
plete all buildings that were halted in
the peak of the nancial crisis.
In Abu Dhabi it is a diferent story.
Since the funds for the Cultural
District on Saadiyat Island have been
released, Abu Dhabi is witnessing the
rise of two diferent types of giants.
Aside from the buildings of the
Cultural District, we are seeing
In Abu Dhabi, the focus is on the governmental versus the
cultural mega developments. Both of them demonstrate
power, strength and wealth but follow diferent concepts.
OPINION
gigantic governmental complexes,
designed to demonstrate the power
and the strength of the state, and the
traditional architecture of the region.
For example, we have the Louvre,
Guggenheim, the Maritime and the
Sheikh Zayed National museums
on one side and the Emirates Palace
and the Presidential Palace under
construction on the Ras Al Akhdar
peninsula on the other.
Abu Dhabi is a centre for making
and remaking. The revitalisation of
buildings in the vicinity of Old Air-
port Road, the shaping of the skyline
along the Corniche, the expansion
of the industrial zones and Zayed
Port, as well as the construction of
religious buildings are changing the
face of Abu Dhabi from day to day.
But there is more than that which is
important for generations to come;
something that conrms once again
that architecture is a demonstra-
tion of the era and place in which
buildings were constructed, even at
a time when construction technol-
ogy building materials are applicable
anywhere in the world.
The focus, in this regard, is on the
governmental versus the cultural
mega developments. Both of them
demonstrate power, strength and
wealth but follow diferent concepts.
The cultural buildings are designed
to create an asset for the world; their
designs are sculptural, inspired by the
eight-cornered star, the wind-towers
or the dunes of the desert.
Meanwhile, the intention to embed
traditional architectural features in
the governmental buildings reaches
a diferent level. What is seen on the
faade of the Emirates Palace Hotel
and the Presidential Palace located
adjacent to the hotel, and on projects
in the making, is diferent from the
inherited government buildings. In
the past they were conned to forts.
Today they are the face of a coun-
try experiencing great economic
prosperity. In a way, the Emirates
Palace sets new standards for local
traditional architecture by expanding
the notion of traditional design with
the introduction of modern concepts.
These developments demonstrate
the time and the current prosperity of
Abu Dhabi and the entire UAE. They
will become the traditional archi-
tecture of the Emirates, laying the
foundations for future generations to
recognise their roots.
The UAE is in the process of building
spectacular vernacular
RISING GIANTS
The Louvre Abu Dhabi
by Jean Nouvel.
COMMENT | GEORGINA CHAKAR
Georgina
Chakar is an
Australian
architect and
a Master of
Urban Planning.
She works in
Abu Dhabi
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Our modular process
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INTERVIEW | SHAPOORJI PALLONJI
22
SHAPOORJI PALLONJI | INTERVIEW
itting in the palatial board room at his of ce in
Dubai Airport Freezone, Steven Miller is clearly
revelling in his new role. The veteran architect and
familiar face to MEA readers has recently turned
to the other side of the table, having been recruited
by Indian construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji.
From the get-go, Miller is keen to explain the latest chapter to his
life story.
The ever-efervescent American remarks: When I was doing
architecture, you had to kill yourself for a US$3-4m fee and here
you do the same amount of work for hundreds of millions of dol-
lars. Ive found out in four months that one is no more dif cult than
the other.
To me the strongest part of this whole company is being in busi-
ness for 148 years. Its been in the region for 40 years. Financially
we are very, very strong. We are privately owned by a very wealthy
family. Even the oldest member of the family who is nally
someone who is older than me takes a tremendous interest in
it. The company has never defaulted on anything and it has never
been in litigation.
Miller, the vice president of business development, is joined
in the room by Chandrakant Patel, deputy general manager of
design and business development, and Biju Oommachan, head of
design. Patel, who like Miller was previously an architect, adds: I
spent my life the other side of the table. But its nice working for a
contractor on a diferent role.
Shapoorji Pallonji Group now boasts over 23,000 employees
with a group turnover of US$2.5bn. The expertise of Miller and
Patel are being exploited to advance the companys design and
build ofering.
Oommachan explains: Lately we decided to set up a design
centre, because we are moving in that direction of design and build
jobs in international markets outside India. In India, we have
a separate design and build division, so we are setting up a design
centre in Dubai that will cater to all the other international desti-
nations. In a nascent stage, we are very small at the moment.
He continues: We will have architects, structures, MEP,
technicians to support teams. Having said that, we may not get into
designing the buildings as such because we dont want to get into
the design indemnity.
We will have to go for an architect of record, therefore in each
diferent country we may engage an architect and get the design
done by them. We have nowhere near what it takes to be a design
build rm, we are aware of that, but we are aiming at it.
When asked how many employees are needed, Miller replies:
It depends on the amount of work we get. I did a matrix, and took
eight projects that we have been negotiating for.
If those eight projects happen, then seven of them would
require 50 people. One would be so big it could be a life of its own
and could have 20 people by itself. Thats because its multiple
buildings on a university campus.
Regarding the benets of design and build, Miller remarks:
People say, why design and build? The added value is time sav-
ings. Theres nothing else. You are going to pay for the architect one
way or another. Also you dont have to wait for a full set of drawings
and wait for somebody like us to take two months to price it out
and give a guaranteed price.
Were ofering open book pricing from day one . We set the
square metres when we start, then well tighten it. When we get a
set of schematic designs or development drawings, depending on
the type of project, if you want well stay open book in which we are
only interested in getting overhead and fees, or well lock a price,
and youll pay a lump sum.
You have a choice, by the time the architect has done his con-
cept, you would have known you would be over-budget. They are
going to lose months redrawing.
Indian construction giant Shapoorji Pallonji has recently recruited veteran
architect Steven Miller. MEA meets Miller and his colleagues to learn about
the companys design and build offering
TOGETHER
INTERVIEW
S
BETTER
23 www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT
INTERVIEW | SHAPOORJI PALLONJI
24 MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
Miller explains key targets for the company in the Middle East
are the monster markets of KSA, Qatar and Iraq. He says: Were
really energised by Iraq we have one project which is three
diferent buildings shopping centre, villas and hotel under
construction in Basra. Theres also six initiatives in Kurdistan.
Unfortunately in the ministerial level of Iraq they still dont un-
derstand pricing. You say the lowest price and they say no, go and
build it for half of that. So nothing gets built. Show me one new real
hospital in Iraq. Theyve got the money but they dont understand
what a hospital costs. In this part of the world, its $720-900,000 a
bed, depending on the equipment. But we do believe the Iraq mar-
ket is really big, they are looking for housing and the hotel market is
endless. We are bidding on a hotel.
In Saudi we are very busy we used to have as many as 3,000
employees out there, and now we need more. Saudis biggest prob-
lem for contractors is getting visas for your workers. They want
30% Saudis. Show me one Saudi who is going to go out in 50C
weather and work. So its very hard.
Regarding the companys operations in Qatar, Miller remarks:
We are quite busy there. We have about 1,700 people in Doha.
He reveals that the upcoming stadium
programme is on the radar for the com-
pany. We are expecting to be invited to
do the stadiums. Fortunately or unfortu-
nately, they think of Indian contractors
doing cricket stadiums, but no one will
think of us doing soccer stadiums.
But weve spoken to Swedish, Span-
ish, Italian and Greek construction com-
panies that do PM services because FIFA
will see the European names. When we
tie in, were there. None of these rms
have a full contingent and licensing in
Qatar. You have to plan these things now.
Remember these stadiums are $600-
900m each. Were thinking, because it is
already two years behind schedule, they
might be design-build as well.
Miller adds that the company is eyeing
up the contracts for building the metro
stations in Doha, as well as two very
large medical projects.
Outside the Middle East and India,
the rm is highly active in West Africa.
Oommachan explains: Shapoorji Pal-
lonji always knew that certain countries
in West Africa will develop in the future,
and good political conditions in that
region has strengthened that view. These countries [in West Af-
rica] require housing, hospitals, hotels and as a company we have
experience in those areas.
This region is the perfect place to utilise the companys design
and build philosophy, according to Oommachan. He continues:
What happens is that all these projects are wanted urgently by the
clients. As Steven says, to save them time, the only thing that makes
it possible is design and build.
Design and construction goes hand in hand. That is where the
design team is required we dont wait for a set of drawings to be
supplied by the consultant. Of course there will be architects of
record taken on board.
Miller adds that the scale of the companys projects has sur-
prised him. We built 70,000 housing units in Calcutta and we are
pushing for thousand like this in Sri Lanka, Algeria, Ghana, etc.
Its a very interesting breadth that Im seeing which as an
architect Id never see. Why hire an architect of my background
to design tunnelform high rises in a place thats as big as a town?
While Im adding some expertise, Im also seeing things Ive never
seen before, which is rather interesting, Miller concludes.
People say, why design and build? The added value is time savings.
Theres nothing else. You are going to pay for the architect one way
or another.
Biju Oommachan, head of design; Steven Miller, vice president
of business development; Chandrakant Patel, deputy general
manager of design and business development.
for enquiries or more information please contact:
Mr. Michel Gebrael
Project Director
Or Email us at:
info@projectqatar.com
Fill the electronic form at our
website by scanning this code
m: +974 5551 7971
t: +974 4432 9900
e: michel.gebrael@ifpqatar.com
www.projectqatar.com
Organized By:
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INTERVIEW | SHAPOORJI PALLONJI
26 MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
MARRIOTT HOTEL,
ABU DHABI
The 315-room Abu Dhabi
Marriott will be part of the
Bloom Central development
on Airport Road.
HILTON HOTEL, RIYADH
This striking project for hotel
giant Hilton features a dis-
tinctive tubular form.
PARK TOWERS, DUBAI
Dubais double gherkin by
developer Damac is now a
highlight of the emirates
famed skyline.
PORTFOLIO:
SHAPOORJI
PALLONJI
SHAPOORJI PALLONJI | INTERVIEW
27 www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT
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BARWA GRAND
MOSQUE, DOHA
The Grand Mosque in
Barwa City, Qatar, is being
built by Shapoorji Pallonji.
The mosque forms part of
Barwa City, a development
comprising around 6,000
apartments in 128 buildings,
spread across 1.35 million m
2
SHATT AL ARAB
HOTEL, BASRA
This hotel being built by
Shapoorji Pallonji is situ-
ated by the Shatt Al Arab
river near Basra in Iraq. Iraq
was described by Steven
Miller as one of the three
monster markets in the
Middle East.
28
SITE VISIT | DUBAI FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN
Oliver Ephgrave visits Dubai
Foundation for Women and Children,
a serene shelter with contemporary
Arabic inuences, designed
by U+A Architects
HAVEN
SAFE
28
SITE VISIT | DUBAI FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN
Oliver Ephgrave visits Dubai
Foundation for Women and Children,
a serene shelter with contemporary
Arabic inuences, designed
by U+A Architects
29 29
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
SITE VISIT | DUBAI FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN
30
Dubai and Toronto based U+A
Architects was hired to design an
extension to an existing building on
the site, bringing the total area up
from around 400m
2
to 1,000
2
.
Martin Dufresne, partner, U+A,
explains: We needed to create
something that was new but joined
with the old section, rather than de-
stroying it. Its a bit dif cult dealing
with a 20-year-old building that is
vernacular but not spectacular.
The project was due for its soft
opening at the end of March, and
was in the nal snagging stage at
the time of MEAs visit, teeming
with representatives from the cli-
ent, contractor and the architect.
A six-strong team from U+A was
responsible for the design, as well
as the MEP and structures, while
the construction was undertaken
The complex
features a
mixture of
materials and
volumes.
n a region lled with
grandiose schemes and
cloud-piercing struc-
tures, its not often that
Middle East Architect
visits a small-scale
project, let alone one that
is spread across a single
oor. Functioning as a
non-prot shelter for
abused women and children, the
U+A Architects designed scheme
near Dubais Dragonmart is an
intimate and serene haven which
seems a million miles from the
bustle of the city.
Dubai Foundation for Women
and Children was established in
July 2007 to ofer victims immedi-
ate protection and support services
in accordance with international
human rights obligations.
by Al Sahel Contracting. Construc-
tion started in April 2012, with
design commencing six months
prior to that.
Dufresne leads the tour party
to the entrance for clients, which
is notable for its elegant wooden
sloped ceiling and marble oor.
He continues: As this is a haven
for women and children that are
distressed, we wanted to cre-
ate something calm and serene,
bringing in as much daylighting as
possible. Before it was very clinical,
so we went in a homey direction.
In the individual rooms weve used
green carpets and calm colours for
the walls, and weve used as much
natural materials as possible. The
wood warms it up.
It contains lots of openings
and were bringing in as much of
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 32
SITE VISIT | DUBAI FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN
the outside in as possible. The land-
scape design will be very green and
everywhere you turn there is an
interesting outlook.
U+A partner Pedram Rad adds:
Its meant to be a happy place
and the building is designed as an
embracing gesture in plan. The
transparency was important, as
was creating a nice environment
where the managers can sit out.
The building contains client con-
sultation and observation rooms
on one side and administrative
of ces on the other, separated by an
impressive central courtyard.
Dufresne remarks: The court-
yard is the centrepiece. It contains
shading screens which makes
the area more soft and zen-like.
The materials include teak and
limestone.
Rad continues: The shading is
very important we designed the
courtyard to respect the climate,
with not too much glass.
It is reminiscent of the regions
traditional architecture, like
Bastakiya. The courtyard will
eventually contain landscaping and
act as a green layer in between the
two sections.
Its important not to have much
visual connection between the
two sides. Each of ce contains a
window. I would love to work in an
of ce like this, says Dufresne.
According to the client, each
room will contain one member of
staf, with 20 case managers for
therapy, as well as higher manag-
ers. The clinical area contains
rooms with one-way mirrors and
observation rooms.
A grand corridor which con-
nects the of ces is notable for a
ceiling with curved gypsum panels
and skylights on one side, resem-
bling a periscope. The east-facing
windows allow the morning light to
lter through.
The most transparent inter-
nal space is the centrally-placed
The impressive
central courtyard.
We tried to keep
the quality but
within the budget,
as its not a ve-star
hotel. I think we
achieved that. Ma-
terial selection was
a big challenge.
Pedram Rad, U+A
DUBAI FOUNDATION FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN | SITE VISIT
www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT 33
conference area, located just of the
courtyard. Rad explains that this
room is a prestige space. Many
important people will visit the
Dubai Foundation periodically,
such as the royal family, the UN
and the police.
Dufresne adds: The teak oor-
ing in this room has very wide
planks, with a little edge to them
it makes a big diference. So many
oors are at. Im obsessed with
every detail. The contractor did a
good job on the nishing. Theres
still a bit of snagging to do.
Pointing at the skirting, he
remarks: I wanted it to be ush
with the wall, and had to ght for it.
I hate it when it looks attached to
the wall.
Further down the corridor a
pantry is used as a point of gather-
ing. The wall contains bright
purple panels, a corporate colour of
Dubai Foundation.
Rad explains that Dubai
Foundation is working on several
other projects, within a masterplan
designed by U+A. He continues:
Its a huge compound. The next
building to do is an of ce; it is ten-
dering next week. They are doing
it building by building when they
are getting the budget. There are so
many other things.
Rad reveals that the budget for
the shelter was $2.73m (approx
AED10m). He adds: We tried
to keep the quality but
within the budget, as
its not a ve-star
hotel. I think we
achieved that. Mate-
rial selection was
a big challenge and
they were sourced as
locally as possible. Every-
thing is natural but it had to
meet the budget.
When it comes to the issue of
cooling the building, Dufresne
comments: There are several
drafts through the building and
Aluminium columns
support the shading.
its very airy. The screens lter the
light to reduce heat gain and the
mechanical systems bring that to
sustainable levels.
He adds that a LEED certi-
cation was not requested by the
client. The tour moves outside
to examine the various faades.
The west facing faade contains a
mashrabiya-esque screen which
protrudes from the main skin
to shield the of ces. Theres an
irregularity to the timber, which I
think is nice. It responds to the sun
angle and the thing to remember
is that people working here will
leave at 3pm. Originally the screen
was going to be lower but I thought
it would be too claustrophobic,
explains Dufresne.
He continues: Instead of using
traditional mashrabiyas we have
made it more contemporary. I
worked in South-East Asia where
people experiment with interest-
ing ways to lter the light. Here, if
you present a screen, people will
automatically say: I have to see out
of my window. But it is just a lter.
Im quite pleased how it turned out.
Once there is vegetation the
whole form will connect with
the ground. The gap between the
screen and the faade is 900cm.
We had an issue with the wind, so
we set it back more.
The faade contains two variet-
ies of orange-brown wood as well as
two types of stone, which are pale
and black. I dont mind a variety
of colours so long as its not a rain-
bow, adds Dufresne.
The back faade, which is cur-
rently tucked away from through-
traf c, ofers the best vantage point
to view the diferent volumes that
run through the building includ-
ing the courtyard and the corridor
with skylights.
Rad points out that the lower
layer of black stone is intended to
make the building appear as if it is
oating. He also draws attention
1,000
METRES
2
AREA OF THE SHELTER
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 36
The teak ooring in
this room has very
wide planks, with a
little edge to them
it makes a big
diference. So many
oors are at. I'm
obsessed with every
detail.
Martin Dufresne, U+A
SITE VISIT
to the extension to the windows so
that they match with the timber.
The buildings most visible fa-
ade, on the opposite side, contains
aluminium posts supporting a
shading screen that acts as a visual
extension of the courtyard. The
faade is raised on a plinth of trav-
ertine to make it more special
according to Dufresne.
With its plinth, intimate scale
and simple, clean planes, the
building vaguely recalls
the seminal Barcelona
Pavilion by Ludwig
Mies van der Rohe.
When asked if this
is a fair comparison,
Dufresne replies: Oh
yeah. With any contem-
porary architecture, the
Barcelona Pavilion would be
the main inuence.
As an afterthought, he adds: I
would change a few details but not
much. Im quite demanding.
The architects demands cer-
tainly seem worthwhile, as U+As
fastidious approach and attention
to detail has lifted the project far
above the ordinary.
The shading
protrudes from the
facade.
Teak was the
chosen wood.
AED10
MILLION
BUDGET FOR
THE SCHEME
www.cityscapeqatar.com/eqv
Creating a picture of
Qatars National 2030 Vision
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 40
F
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A
M
E

T
O
W
E
R
S

|

C
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S
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S
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U
D
Y
CASE STUDY
THE PROJECT
The construction of Bakus strik-
ing complex of three mixed-use
high rises, the Flame Towers, is now
complete with interior t out well
underway. HOK has undertaken
masterplanning, concept and sche-
matic design, with DiA Holdings
as design and build contractor and
Azinko MMC as engineer.
A residential tower sits to the
south, with 130 residential apart-
ments over 39 oors, and is the
tallest of the three towers.
The Fairmont Baku hotel, situ-
ated on the northern corner of the
site, consists of 318 guest rooms,
whilst the western-most tower pro-
vides 33,114m
2
of grade A exible
of ce space.
FLAME TOWERS
Architect: HOK
Location: Baku, Azerbaijan
www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT 41
C
A
S
E

S
T
U
D
Y

|

F
L
A
M
E

T
O
W
E
R
S
THE SITE
Located on a hill overlook-
ing Baku, with views
extending across the
Caspian Sea, the three
towers sweep dramati-
cally upwards to form
a striking silhouette
on the citys skyline.
The project was originally
sketched on a single sheet of paper,
evoking the momentary icker of
a ame. At the base, a number of
smaller, discreet structures form
the retail and leisure pavilions,
which mediate between the towers
scale and their surroundings. The
pavilion contains three levels of
leisure facilities, including boutique
shops, restaurants and a cinema.
33,114
METRES
2

AREA OF
OFFICE SPACE
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 42
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THE CONCEPT
Known as the region of eternal
res, Azerbaijans history of re
worship and ongoing connection
with natural gas provided the in-
spiration for HOKs design. Barry
Hughes, vice president, HOK in
London, said: Our aim from the
outset was to create a unique focal
THE DETAILS
Flame Towers was designed and
conceived using BIM, enabling
the team to rene the unusual
shape of the buildings. BIM
was also critical in en-
abling the development
to be built, giving the
team the ability to model
the construction process
before work began on site.
This was said to provide a
crucial advantage for constructing
a large-scale project in a seismic
region such as Baku. The original
concept model was conceived in
Revit Architecture 2008.
318
KEYS IN THE
FAIRMONT HOTEL
point on Bakus skyline. The ame
is such an intrinsic part of regions
identity, but translating this into
the design was a real challenge.
We were keen to ensure a sense of
movement, the idea of momentary
icker, so it was important that the
shape of the towers was realistic.
16- 18 APRI L 2013
ADNEC I ABU DHABI I UAE

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Hosted alongside Organised by Principal Sponsor Strategic Partner
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 44
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CASE STUDY
AL
KHOBAR
OFFICE
TOWER
Architect: Norr Group Consultants
Location: Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT 45
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THE SITE
Located on a prime ocean-front
site in Al Khobar, the east and
west facing envelope is faceted to
allow inhabitants unobstructed
views to the water (east) and to the
city (west) while mitigating solar
gain. Jan continued: The building
reaches 150m in height - this is
the limit according to civil avia-
tion, and the client wanted
to maximise the height.
There is no other high
rise in the area.
Intentionally
restrained, the design
features clean lines,
simple massing and
minimalist detailing of
stone and glass.
15,500
METRES
2

TOTAL LEASABLE
AREA
THE PROJECT
Designed by Norr Group Con-
sultants, this 150m high tower in
Saudi Arabia features 20 oors
and 15,500m
2
of column-free
Class A of ce space suspended
between split concrete cores.
Norrs vice president and design
director, Yahya Jan, commented:
The client wanted a diferent
type of of ce tower. It is an open
and highly exible space due to
the absence of a central core. He
added: The core shouldnt be an
obstruction. In the of ce space
there is not a column to be found,
even on the perimeter. The frame
is the vertical structure and we use
this to hang the oors.
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 46
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THE CONCEPT
The design is said to be additive
and consists of a formal assembly
of diferent components. These in-
clude a frame; of ce oors; an en-
trance lobby; a parking structure; a
health club and leisure garden, and
a roof garden.
The frame is a stone clad con-
crete core, containing eleva-
tors, stairs, washrooms
and MEP, and is the
primary gravity load
bearing structure.
The entrance lobby
is a ceremonial glass
cube with landscaping
and water elements.
THE DETAILS
Energy modelling eQuest soft-
ware was used to test the ef ciency
of a split-core tower over a typical
central core model. The chosen
concept ofers a 20% annual reduc-
tion in solar gain through the exte-
rior envelope and a 9% reduction in
annual consumption.
In terms the building envelope,
the design results in an average 32%
reduction in peak load for any given
month. Additional energy savings
are expected through the use of
solar panels on the health club and
tower roofs, which will help reach
the target of LEED Gold.
150
METRES
HEIGHT OF THE
OFFICE TOWER
TUESDAY 9TH APRIL 2013 , GRAND HYATT DOHA
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MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 48
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CASE STUDY
ME HOTEL
Architect: Foster + Partners
Location: London
THE PROJECT
Now open in the heart of Lon-
dons West End, the ME Hotel has
been designed by Foster + Partners,
from the shell of the building to the
bathroom ttings. It combines a
new 157-bed hotel with the restored
1904 Marconi House, refurbished
to contain 87 apartments.
Guests pass through the
ground oor lounge,
public restaurants and
bar, and ascend to a
dedicated hotel lobby
on the rst oor. The
lobby is housed within a
nine-storey high pyramidal
space, clad entirely in white marble.
154
TOTAL NUMBER
OF BEDS
www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT 49
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THE SITE
The new hotel building occupies
a triangular site and completes
the grand sweep of buildings that
make up the Aldwych Crescent.
Repairing the urban grain, it is clad
in Portland stone, corresponding
in height and scale to its neighbour,
the Marconi House.
An elliptical tower on the corner
of the hotel denes the end-point
for the Aldwych Crescent and
marks the main entrance at street
level, which is sheltered beneath a
wide glass fan. The corner tower
is topped by a glass cupola, and
contains the living space for the
penthouse suite.
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 50
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THE CONCEPT
Giles Robinson, partner at Foster
+ Partners, said: By designing the
hotel inside and out, down to the
last detail, we were able to maintain
a high level of quality and continu-
ity. Inside, the bold black and white
interior palette establishes a strong
identity. The experience at the
hotel draws on the Asian concept
of yin and yang, as guests move
from dark to light spaces the
crisp white bedrooms, with clean
and minimal lines, are reached by
reective black marble corridors,
and sculpted by the angled walls of
the central pyramid.
THE DETAILS
The glazing of triangular bays in
the rooms feature an invisible joint,
while ensuring acoustic and ther-
mal insulation. Internally the win-
dows can be screened by two layers
of opaque glass sliding panels,
rather than curtains, in keeping
with the minimal design.
Full-height triangular
bay windows project to
reveal long views of the
Strand. On the tenth
oor, the hotels rooftop
terraces are an urban oasis
ofering spectacular views of
the Westminster skyline.
1904
COMPLETION OF
MARCONI HOUSE
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Teri Clarke, Sales Manager, Tel: +971 4 444 3679, Email: teri.clarke@itp.com
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MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 52
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CASE STUDY
CATERING SCHOOL
Architect: Sol 89
Location: Medina Sidonia, Spain
THE PROJECT
The unanimous winner of the 11
th

Tile of Spain awards in Architec-
ture and Interior Design, this proj-
ect involves the conversion of a 19
th

century Spanish slaughterhouse
into a professional cooking school.
Designed by Maria Gonzalez
Garcia and Juanjo Lopez de la
Cruz, both of architectural
practice Sol 89, it was
described by the jury
as a project that was
acutely aware of its
surroundings, [which]
has been resolved with
very modest means, yet very
delicately and very successfully.
11,900
POPULATION
OF MEDINA
SIDONIA
www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT 53
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THE SITE
The scheme is located in Medina
Sidonia, a historic town located
on the hills in Cadiz, Spain, most
notable for its whitewashed walls
and ceramic roofs.
The small slaughterhouse is
arranged around a courtyard and a
high white wall.
A new ceramic roof was added to
unify the complex, and harmonise
with the traditional architecture
of the surroundings. The new roof
covers the kitchen and classrooms,
while the public programme, din-
ing area and bar are situated in
the original building around the
restored courtyard.
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 54
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THE CONCEPT
The original building is removed
of strict functional requirements
while ancillary uses are arranged
around it. New uses of the
original building
are separated
through circulation
spaces that span the entire
perimeter. Contact between the
original building and the new oc-
curs through a slit of light.
Modern additions to the old
building have been removed while
elements with historic value, such
as the Phoenician columns, have
been retained.
THE DETAILS
The courtyards work as ventila-
tion shafts and contain plants used
for cooking. The sloping roofs
distinguish the diferent spaces;
circulation areas have at and
low roofs while cooking rooms
and classrooms benet from high
ceilings with skylights. Ceilings
are nished with white surfaces
that unify the space. Old oors in
the original building were replaced
with slabs of concrete with wooden
formwork that recall traditional
building forms. Walls are covered
with white and rough lime mortar
which give an industrial feel.
11
YEARS OF OPERATION
FOR THE TILE OF
SPAIN AWARDS
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For sponsorship enquiries, please contact:
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For nomination enquiries, please contact:
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Editor
Tel: +971 4 444 3303
Email: oliver.ephgrave@itp.com
For table bookings, please contact:
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Events Manager
Tel: +971 4 444 3328
Email: michelle.meyrick@itp.com
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MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 56

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THE
WORK
PROJECT UPDATE
Foster + Partners has completed its
rst project in Latin America with the
Faena Aleph Residences in Buenos
Aires, Argentina a nine-storey resi-
dential complex on Avenida Juana
Manso. It comprises 50 apartments,
animated at ground level by a fringe
of shops, cafs and restaurants, with a
landscaped garden to the rear and an
innity pool at roof level. Apartments
are characterised by vaulted ceilings
and expressive sunscreens.
THE ALEPH
Architect:
Foster +
Partners
Location:
Buenos Aires,
Argentina
Last year Dewan was awarded the
contract to design the new Cultural
Centre by the Basra Governorate in
Iraq, after the recent establishment
of Dewans Basra branch of ce. The
Basra Cultural Centre will contain
ne arts exhibition areas, meeting
rooms, conference halls, a heritage
museum, cinema halls, theatre, a
radio and television broadcasting
department, public library, cafeteria,
outdoor landscaping and green areas.
BASRA
CULTURAL
CENTRE
Architect:
Dewan
Location:
Basra, Iraq
50
APARTMENTS
IN THE COMPLEX
BAHRAIN
NATIONAL
THEATRE
Architect: AS.
Architecture-
Studio
Detailed
design: Atkins
Location:
Manama,
Bahrain
Bahrains rst national theatre con-
tains a 1,001-seat auditorium and a
150-seat exible auditorium and ex-
hibition area. The expansive glazing
involved an innovative curtain wall
system fully supported by glass. With
overall control of the entire project,
Paris-based AS. Architecture Studio
appointed Atkins in 2009 to collabo-
rate on detailed architectural design,
including the total external envelope,
along with site-wide supervision.
800KG
WEIGHT OF EACH
GLASS FIN
www.designmena.com | 04.13 | MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT 57
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This ambitious experiment for
Qatar involves the construction and
operation of a super energy-ef cient
house, which adopts the Germany-
developed Passivhaus concept.
It also requires the construction
of a conventional villa to serve as a
tangible point of comparison, and
the basis for a number of targets
for the eco-villa. The scheme is a
collaboration between Kahramaa,
QGBC, BRE, and Aecom.
QATAR
PASSIVHAUS
Architect:
Aecom
Location:
Qatar
Highly commended in the Resi-
dential category at the 2012 MEA
Awards, the austere apartment
block was designed by local ar-
chitect Farshad Mehdizadeh and
Raha Ashra. Mehdizadeh is also
supervising the project, still under
construction. It uses local architec-
ture elements such as cantilevers,
but adds new design techniques.
The faade made from local materi-
als suits the dusty conditions.
ABADAN
APARTMENT
Designers:
Farshad
Mehdizadeh
& Raha
Ashrafi
Location:
Abadan, Iran
200
METRES
2

SIZE OF BOTH
VILLA PROJECTS
PARK HYATT
ABU DHABI
Architect:
Perkins
Eastman
Location: Abu
Dhabi
The rst hotel project completed on
Abu Dhabis Saadiyat Island, as well
as the rst Park Hyatt-branded prop-
erty in the UAE capital, the Park Hy-
att Abu Dhabi Hotel & Villas opened
its doors to guests last year. Designed
by Perkins Eastman, the 306-key
45,000m
2
resort is oriented towards
the sea, with private villas that line
a boardwalk and private beach. The
energy-ef cient design meets LEED
Certied standards.
306
NUMBER OF ROOMS
AND SUITES
Sponsored by the National
Industrial and Mining Company
(SNIM), the ve-star hotel project
is intended to be an oasis of rest
within the heart of Nouakchott.
The main building is swathed in
greenery and vegetation. Land-
scaped grounds link a central
reception building to living and rec-
reational areas, including a spa and
pool. Part of the connecting area
was designed as a public gallery.
SNIM HOTEL
Architect:
Draw Link
Group
Location:
Nouakchott,
Mauritania
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 58

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Designed by Iranian architect
Farshad Mehdizadeh, this fast food
store occupies 7m
2
on an Isfahan
street. The project was highly
commended in the Public Sector,
Institutional and Cultural Project
category at the MEA Awards in
2012. Judge Bart Leclercq, WSP,
said: This must be the smallest
architectural project ever but the
amount of diligence that went into
the design is remarkable.
CIRCLE
SNACK
BAR
Architect:
Farshad
Mehdizadeh
Location:
Isfahan,
Iran
This skyscraper is inspired by
sikkas, the narrow alleys between
buildings in old Middle East cities.
Designed by Alexandre Carrasco
and Omelmominin Wadidy, Mas-
ters in Sustainable Tall Buildings
Course, Department of Architec-
ture and Built Environment, Uni-
versity of Nottingham, it has eight
stacked communities, with a library
and retail facilities at ground level,
and a space for prayer at the apex.
SIKKAS
IN THE SKY
Designers:
Alexandre
Carrasco and
Omelmominin
Wadidy,
University of
Nottingham
Location:
Abu Dhabi
This four-level home consists of a
main residence with a garden, pool,
gym, and private terrace. Origi-
nally conceived as a single-family
home, MOP House can be split into
two separate properties for future
use. The project uses dark brown,
natural sandstone and white plaster
in the buildings faade to diferen-
tiate between the diferent levels.
Bamboo is used generously in the
interior, built into curved walls.
MOP HOUSE
Designer:
AGi Architects
Location:
Kuwait City
750
METRES
2

AREA OF PLOT
Designed by Henning Larsen, this
impressive museum is located in the
Arts Campus at Ume University
in northern Sweden. It comprises
three exhibition halls placed on top
of each other. The ground plan of
the museum covers 500m
2
, while
the total gross oor area amounts
to 3,500m
2
. The new museum more
than doubles the exhibition area. It
contains an auditorium, childrens
workshops and administration.
UME ART
MUSEUM
Architect:
Henning
Larsen
Architects
Location:
Ume, Sweden
3,500
METRES
2

GROSS FLOOR
AREA
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 60
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LIKE
WANT
NEED
CULTURE
FURNISHINGS
MINISICULE
Fritz Hansen
The name minuscule represents the
informal and understated style, which
typies Scandinavian design. Minuscule
has a simple and elegant design that
emerged as the result of a series of
experimental workshops involving
designer Cecilie Manz and Fritz Hansen.
The seat shell features hand-stitched
upholstery in a light-weight yet durable
textile with elegant leather detailing that
follows the contours of the shell. The
curve of the shell is kept in place by a
frame designed in plastic.
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D
ELEVATOR
KONE DESIGN COLLECTION
KONE
The KONE Design Collection is a
versatile set of elevator car interiors
created by the manufacturers in-
house design team. Users can choose
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design themes, or create their own
design by mixing and matching a wide
range of materials, colours, nishes
and lighting. The six themes are
Modern Simplicity, Cool Vintage,
Industrial Chic, Classic Chic, Nouveau
Glamour and New Luxury.
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com 62
LIGHTING
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LUG Light Factory Ltd.
LUG Light Factory Ltd is a well-
known European manufacturer,
present on the market for more than 20
years, with roots in Poland. It ofers high
quality energy ef cient lighting systems,
both for indoor and outdoor lighting
applications. Since the beginning of
2012, LUG has been present in the
United Arab Emirates, in the Ajman
Free Zone. Last year, it presented its
new brand of decorative lighting called
FLASH DQ, available in tubular,
sphere and constellation models. The
lighting company has illuminated
prestigious projects in many countries,
including the Central Bank of Kuwait,
Galway University in Ireland and the
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BREAKING NEWS | ANALYSIS | COMMENT
FOR THE MI DDLE EAST CONSTRUCTI ON I NDUSTRY
VISIT
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for more information
For advertising enquiries, please contact:
Ahmad Bashour, Tel: +971 4 444 3549, email: ahmad.bashour@itp.com
Riad Raad, Tel: +971 4 444 3319, E-mail: riad.raad@itp.com
MIDDLE EAST ARCHITECT | 04.13 | www.designmena.com
LAST WORD | MARK McCARTHY
64
Mark McCarthy, education design principal at Perkins
Eastman, on the regions requirements
THE LAST WORD
SCHOOLS IN
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Tel: +971 4 444 3303 email: oliver.ephgrave@itp.com
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Chief Photographer Jovana Obradovic
Senior Photographers Isidora Bojovic, Efraim Evidor
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We are seeing an increasing interest in, and dedication to, investing in
education in the Middle East and North Africa.
Particularly primary and secondary education, both in terms of facilities and philosophies.
Tradition remains extremely important. But it is not incompatible with a 21st
century, progressive educational model.
The welcome challenge for international rms like ours is to balance respect for tradition
and heritage with the energy and spirit of the more progressive educational models taking
root in places like Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
We are designing for the 21st century student, for a global citizenry.
I think educational institutions in this region are becoming increasingly aware that
their infrastructure is inadequate vis a vis their goals in cultural terms, in terms of
being responsive to the regional climate, and in its ability to educate students to meet the
challenges of the increasingly global market.
Higher education has been the focal point already for years, and we are now
seeing the same ideas take of for primary and secondary education.
Clients, both American schools abroad and regional Middle East schools, look to us to help
them build the right buildings that will truly support their educational vision and goals.
Our rm is working in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Most recently, we have just completed a new middle school and library for Cairo
American College, a prestigious international school with a great tradition of serving
expat and local communities.
A true community of students and their families, it functions as a veritable
home away from home.
Its a demonstration of the future of primary and secondary education in the region.
Duba| / Abu Dhab| / Shar|ah / Oman / Qatar / K|ngdom o Saud| Arab|a / n|ted K|ngdom
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