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Architecture+ Awards 2004 honour 10 international professionals for excellence

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, December 21 - 2004 @ 15:42

The winners in the 10 categories of the Awards include architecture and design firms from as many countries, including the developers of the Dubai Marina project in the UAE.

In a glittering open air event held at the Dubai Media City amphitheatre that was attended by international architects, local sponsors and government officials, the Awards were the last stage of a nine-month long process in which 300 entries were narrowed down to the 10 best. Including diverse categories that ranged from ‘Housing and Residential’ projects which was won by Edge Design Institute of China for their Suitcase House project to ‘Urban Design’ projects bagged by HOK Gulf for the Dubai Marina project, the 10 Awards covered all aspects of architecture, including the use of local materials, aesthetics and practicality, and suitability and sustainability to context. (Please see attached list)

In his key note address, Rashid Taqui, the chief organiser of the event, said that while every journey started with a few small steps, it did Dubai proud that the steps were being taken here, at what is a crucial time in the UAE’s history of architecture. “Apart from the meritorious recognition that the Awards offer, it showcases Dubai in international limelight. Many of the best architects of the world have congregated here in Dubai and they bring to us their expertise, their experience and their exotica. Only 10 of them will be rewarded today, but we recognise the merits of all these professionals who look upon the UAE, and Dubai in particular, as a white canvas for their creativity. The Architecture+ Awards creates another bridge between Dubai and the rest of the world,” he said.

The work of four students, including Amin Al Saden of the UAE was announced as the best entries among 29 entries from all over the world and honoured with cash prizes. The overall winner, 22 year old Yu Ka Sing of the University of Hong Kong won for his project – A Place Reinstated.

A key highlight of the event was the launch of the Architecture+ Foundation (Hope of a New World), a non-profit organisation that will seek to build shelters and homes in our region, in places affected by war or natural calamities. Five diamond watches donated by Aigner, were auctioned in private at the event, to raise the first annual fund towards realising this cause.

Another moment of significance was the conferring of the Lifetime Achievement Award on Laurie Baker, the famed English architect who has chosen to live and work in India. The 89 year-old Baker was unable to attend the function, but relayed a message to the audience through a live video feed in which he said he was honoured to be accepting the award. His key message to architects in Dubai and the rest of the world was, “Use 20th century techniques while maintaining principals acquired over centuries. To be successful, architecture must cope with climate, materials, terrain and culture, and consider economic, social and population problems,” he said, adding that he had great hopes for the Architecture+ Awards to emerge as a forum for international dialogue.

The Awards function was attended by leading representatives from TECOM, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Cultural Council, The American University of Sharjah and sponsor companies – Infinity, Nakheel, Al Habtoor Engineering, HOK Gulf, Media Group Middle East, apart from over 50 participating finalists from 25 countries and local guests. The event was produced by Inhouse Creative and Protec, compered by Nima Abu Wardeh and organised by Orion Events.

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Tuesday, December 21- 2004 @ 15:42 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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