By Orlando Crowcroft www.constructionweekonline.com
Hundreds of architects, engineers and consultants packed out Dubai’s Park Hyatt last night for the third annual Middle East Architect awards.
Projects from Saudi Arabia to Libya scooped awards, with Dubai’s Burj Khalifa winning project of the year and local firm X Architects winning both Best Boutique Firm and Best Principal, jointly awarded to founders Ahmed Al Ali and Farid Esmaeil.
Accepting the award for SOM, associate director Eric Tomich said: “We’re delighted to have won this. The reason in part is that it recognises the work of a lot of people. It’s a special project and a fantastic achievement”
Turkish newcomers Tabanlioglu Architects won Best Cultural and Public Sector Award for its new Conference Centre in Libya, while the firm’s founders, Murat and Merkel Tabanlioglu, jointly won Architect of the Year.
Commenting on the win, Merkel Tabanlioglu said that she was delighted that the firm won two of the biggest awards of the night.
feel good, the Middle East is an important market and it’s very important for us to create a presence here,” she said.
Meanwhile, Aedas scooped Large Middle East Firm of the Year and RMJM won Engineer of the Year, while Young Architect of the Year went to GAJ’s Ignacio Gomez, who worked on his firm’s Red Sea Riviera project in Egypt, which also won Best Residential Project of the Year.
One of the biggest surprises of the night came in the Sustainable Project of the Year category, where a little known development in Sudan beat Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to the top spot. The Salam Centre, by Italian architecture firm Tamassociati, was a favourite with judges for its innovative approach to sustainability at the most basic levels.
Another winner on the night was Dubai firm DXB Lab, which won Best Commercial Project of the Year for the Code Tower in Al Barsha, Dubai.
The third Middle East Architect Awards was sponsored by Schott Middle East, Mapei, HOK, Alumil Gulf and Philips.
Architect of the Year: Murat and Merkel Tabanlioglu
Young Architect of the Year: Ignacio Gomez, GAJ
Principal of the Year: Ahmed Al Ali & Farid Esmaeil, X-Architects.
Engineer of the Year: Craig Gibbons, Arup
Large Middle East Architecture Firm of the Year: Aedas
Boutique Architecture Firm of the Year: X Architects
Engineering Firm of the Year: RMJM
Project of the Year: Burj Khalifa
Sustainable Project of the Year: Salam Centre, Sudan, Tamassociati Architects
Public Sector, Institutional and Cultural Project of the Year: Tripoli Congress Centre, Tabanlioglu Architects
Commercial Project of the Year: Code Tower, DXB lab
Residential Project of the Year: Red Sea Riviera by GAJ
Hospitality Project of the Year: Yas Hotel, Asymptote
Daniel Hajjar, vice president and regional manager at HOK Dubai.
Hisham Youssef, senior associate at Gensler
Yahya Jan, vice president and design director at NORR Group Consultants International
George Katodrytis, professor of architecture at the American University of Sharjah
Nathan Hones, general manager at Stride Treglown
Stephan Frantzen, executive director at P&T