Rashad Bukhash, Director of the Architectural Heritage department at Dubai Municipality, picked up a cultural award during the Cityscape Awards for Architecture in the Emerging Markets, held at The Grand Hyatt Dubai hotel last night.
Suha Ozkan, one of the judges and founder of the World Architecture Community, said Rashad excelled not only for the restoration works, but the innovative use of public spaces. “Dubai was a large village in the 1950s before all the development and Bastakia now stands as a great monument to the city’s cultural heritage,” he said.
The awards received a record 300 entries this year and were judged according to quality, innovation and environmental response by a panel of five experts.
Other regional winners included Woods Bagot, which won the Commercial/Mixed Use Built category; RMJM, which collected the Special Award – Islamic Archictecture for their work on Al-Asmariya University, Zliten, in Libya; and Kuwait’s Bernard Khouri, which won the Leisure Future category for The Oberoi Resort at Al Khiran.
Two awards were given under the Tourism, Travel & Built category – Dubai’s Roads & Transport Authority, for the Dubai Metro, and Turkey’s Melkan Gursel & Mural Tabanlioglu for their work on the Libertas Rixos Hotel.
“We felt it was right the Metro should gain an Award,” added Ozkan. “It is not only the hardware which is impressive, but the stations, which are designed as landmarks.”
European companies were also among the accolades, with Spanish-based Agi Architects winning Commercial/Mixed Use Future; Denmark’s BIG Architects scooping the Community Future Award; and London-based John McAslan excelling in the Community Built category for their work involving Malawi schools.
Chan Krieger Sieniewicz waved the US flag, picking up the Special Award – Master Planning category for the Bund Waterfront project.
And further afield, Australian-based Laboratory for Visionary Architecture (LAVA) won the Special Award – Environment for their involvement with the MASDAR masterplan in Abu Dhabi, while Shatotto Architecture for Green Living and Lebanon’s Nabil Gholam Architecture & Planning won the Residential Built and Residential Future categories respectively.
Four young architects, all students from Sharjah, were also recognised for their potential, Momna Arshad, Reihaneh Ramezany Mahonaky, Tahereh Rajabi and Ahmed Hosny. “.
“They all showed striking creative ideas,” said Ozkan. “They experimented with new forms and spaces, and their buildings are not just shells but places where you can interact.”
Rohan Marwaha, Managing Director, Cityscape said: “In keeping with the exhibition itself, this year’s Awards had a truly international flavour and recognised the best architectural and planning practices globally.”