In the last decade, the Middle East has been a subject to several major changes that have greatly impacted its cultural character. But amidst all these changes, there is one that stands out in particular: Architecture. Middle Eastern architect designers today are not only great at adjusting and adapting to cultural changes, but they also bring about a different perspective to the traditional architecture of their regions. Therefore, this is a moment to honor the dedication and discipline of these architects designers who have made significant contributions to their beloved countries and societies.
Born in 1945, this Aga Khan award-winning Palestinian architect, has been regarded as a contemporary Islamic Pioneer. More than 400 noteworthy projects throughout the Middle East are included in his wide portfolio representing the social, religious, hospitality and academic sectors, as well as commercial, housing and medicine. The “King Abdul Aziz Historical Centre” situated in Riyadh, the “Bujeiri development” also in Riyadh and the “Abu Dhabi Court House Complex” are examples of his work. In 1995, Rasem Badran was awarded the “Aga Khan Award” for architecture of the Great Mosque of Riyadh.
Born in Palestine 1951, Suad Amiry earned her PHD in architecture after studying it at the American University of Beirut and the University of Michigan and the University of Edinburg in Scotland. She is also an award-winning author, community figure and the creator of Riwaq, a Palestinian center dedicated to the repair and preservation of the legacy of architecture, and the Vice president of the Board of Trustees of Birzeit University as well as a member of the jury for the Palestinian Cultural Award. Riwaq’s 50 Villages initiative is the most renowned of her several projects.
A university educator and a contributor to a variety of worldwide platforms, Murat Tabanlioglu has been on the juries of AIA and WAF, as well as the Aga Khan Award for Architecture’s 2013 cycle. One of his recent plans include the remodeling of Turkey’s “Ataturk Cultural Center”, the United Arab Emirates’ “Crystal Towers”, “Morocco’s Marrakesh Congress Center”, and Iran’s “Office-LED Tower”. In collaboration with Melkan Gürsel, Murat strives to successfully run the organization, Tabanlioglu Architects, that is one of the Muslim World’s major architectural firms.
In Turkey 1995, Melkan Gürsel joined a Turkish architectural practice, Tabanlioglu Architects, after graduating from Istanbul Technical University with a bachelor’s in architecture in 1993 and earning her Master of architecture from the Metropolitan Polytechnic University in Catalonia. Her impact is seen in the firm’s excellent architectural design standards and the growing number of female architects. Among many accolades, Gürsel was named “Europe’s 40 under 40” in 2008, and was later featured, in 2015, in the “Fifty under Fifty: Innovators of the 21st Century” list. She conducts lectures all over the worlds and sits on the jury of several architectural programs.
Mohammed Al Assam
Mohammed Al Assam, an Iraqi architect, established his company for over thirty years. In the decades thereafter, it has expanded to become a major worldwide corporation with offices throughout the Middle East. He has been involved in determining the firm’s corporate strategy as a chairman and managing director of the board of executives. Among his various projects, “First Avenue Mall” situated in Dubai alongside “Fountain Views” and “ENOC Tower”. His firm has received multiple international awards and recognitions because of is keen understanding in business growth.
In 2006, AGi Architect, located in Kuwait, was founded by Nasser Abulhasan in collaboration with Joaquin Perez-Giocoechea. Thenceforth, Abulhasan has accomplished a variety of initiatives in many fields like urban, industrial, and exterior design and has received national and international recognition on multiple occasions. “Wind Tower”, “Wall House”, “Tamdeen Square” and “Wafra Living” are a few of AGi’s latest projects in Kuwait. He also lectures as an associate professor at the Kuwait University and the Boston Architectural Center.
Born in 1959, Nadia Habash, the Israeli architect earned her master’s degree in Design Theory and Philosophy and in Architectural Design from the University of Michigan’s School of Architecture in Ann Arbor after receiving her bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Jordan’s School of Architecture. She has helped in several remodeling projects in Palestine, she was also the first woman to lead a regional section of the Jordanian and Palestinian Engineers Association as well as a municipal council member in Ramallah where her major goal was to preserve the city’s cultural legacy.
Joe Tabet, the Principal of MEA in 2017, has been lauded for effectively leading his team of 49 members to undertake the future. Not only does the office culture focus on high quality and design based on research, but also keeps up with technological changes and participates in CRS efforts. JT+Partners, the master planning, architectural and practices of integrated design innovative, global leading brand founded and managed by Joe Tabet, was invited to join the yearly global architectural forum established by Plan Magazine, “Perspective Europe 2018”.
Founder of one of Middle East’s major corporations called Lacasa, over the last forty years, the Palestinian engineer ad architect Emad Jaber has established a name for himself in the region’s construction business. During his time in the UAE, he has worked on a number of prominent master plan initiatives. “Jumeirah Beach Residences”, “Dubai Internet City” as well as initiatives like the “Executive Towers” and “Skycourt Towers”, are among Jaber’s developments.
Hend Almatrouk, the award-winning Kuwaiti architect, has helped “Studio Toggle” grow to greater heights. In the last few years, Almatrouk has been at the forefront of a number of noteworthy breakthroughs, comprising a majority of continuously going projects in Kuwait such as “Bean2Bar” representing a coffee shop interior design project located in Kuwait, “Ternion” that is a row of three dwellings that run parallel to each other and “Luminous Drapes”, an installation in an open outdoor area.
~ By Aya Mheidly