Dewan Newsletter 2011 | Issue 6

"Change: in the Middle East"
Dewan Architects & Engineers Exhibits
and Chairman Speaks at Prestigious New York Architecture Exhibition.
Mohamed Al Assam present a case study titled 'The Architecture Scene in the Middle East Now' Dewan Architects & Engineers, is exhibiting some of their works at the forefront of innovative design, at the "Center for Architecture" in New York City. The Center is hosting an international touring exhibition titled 'Change: Contemporary Architecture and Engineering in the Middle East, 2000 - Present' which was on view from February 22 to June 23, 2012, and now touring other venues in the US and the world, to be on final destination in Baghdad next year. The exhibition is organized by the AIA New York Chapter, the oldest and largest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and the Center for Architecture Foundations. The exhibition is intended to provide a snapshot of contemporary architecture and engineering in the Middle East as well as highlight key architectural masterpieces in the region, from soaring towers and uniquely-designed structures to man-made islands and mega city projects. The stereotypical image of the Middle East depicts extensive deserts and historic kasbahs with endless twisted alleys. This essentializing view of the expansive geographical zone is at odds with its incredibly diverse landscapes, traditions, cultures and climates that stretch between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Containing some of the most significant UNESCO monuments and sites, the region is also a place of a rapid globalization with man-made islands and super tall towers. The contrast between the resilience of heritage and the overwhelming contemporary change generates an exceptional challenge for today's architects and engineers, producing exceedingly varied approaches to the region's 21st century built environment. Dewan has been invited as an exhibitor, speaker, and designated "event supporter" , given its leading position as one of the most influential architectural firms in the region, having won numerous awards for excellence and following its recent global rankings on the 'World Architecture Top 100' list by the esteemed UK Building Design Magazine. The firm also has good geographic exposure from its various offices in the UAE, Saudi, Qatar, and Iraq. Mohamed Al Assam, Chairman and Managing Director of Dewan Architects and Engineers was in New York City participating in a panel discussion at the symposium titled 'Change in the Middle East: Preserving the Past, Inventing the Future'. He presented a case study titled "The Architecture Scene in the Middle East Now" highlighting the variety of architectural typologies in Dewan's current work in the region, Covering: The historical background and early settlements in the region; the different influences and cultures; the Islamic era - the rise and fall of Islamic empire; the industrial revolution and the stagnation of development in the region; twentieth century influences and comparison; the turn of the centuries 20th - 21st; the Oil Wealth and search for identity.

He focused also on 'Progress of Dewan's Professional Practice in the region' and 'Dewan's Professional Practice and Expansion to Iraq'. Al Assam said: "We will be showcasing the projects carried out by Dewan and it is an opportunity for us all to share and learn from each other. For example in the Middle East we are facing challenges in terms of implementing methods to interface contemporary demands with regional expression whilst always preserving the surrounding environment and remaining true to the region's heritage and culture. Through designing innovative projects nowadays, we see inspirational glistening structures built only a few miles away from sand dunes and deserts." Al Assam explained: "We at Dewan's are known internationally as a company that delivers thoughtful, original, sustainable and contemporary architecture that conveys a sense of humanism and purpose while at the same time fulfilling the modern requirements of a contemporary development without losing touch with the cultural and localised requirements of each individual project we design. Parallel to this important event the AIA Exhibition Centre will display another world touring exhibition named Baghdad, The City of Mirages, showcasing works of international architects worked in Baghdad, from F. L. Wright to Corbusier and R. Venturi and other world known architects who designed major projects for this city. Another window for Dewan to show its on-going projects in Iraq, and efforts to rebuild this country after decades of wars and neglect. . . .

Latest News

City Debates 2012 - The American University in Beirut
Re-Conceptualizing Boundaries: Urban Design in the Arab World
Dewan Architects & Engineers and Mr. Mohd Al Assam, was a keynote speaker in this event, by reviewing the qualities of Historical Cities in Iraq, and their Urban Form, and following the evolution of traditional Iraqi Settlements and Urban Life, since their early formations, through their glorious epochs, followed by deterioration and neglect thru the last decades.The deterioration of Iraqi Historic Cities was a part of a major collapse of Civil Values and "Rural-ization" of the Urban Life, due to Colonization, Political Unrest and military actions, which disrupts a smooth and continuous civil developments and prosperity.Vast migration from rural areas in masses, which was not possible for the cities to absorb. Neither than to these newcomers to adapt to their new urban life. This resulted in changing of cities to become big villages in fact, with villagers norms and habits, and even spatial hierarchy sometimes. All the above added to the isolation and knowledge gap between Iraq and the modern world, makes it difficult sometimes for non-Iraqis to comprehend the real nature of the problems of Iraqi cities and society, and sometimes deal with the problem from a nostalgic orientalist or theoretical point of view.

Al Assam displayed Dewan's practical interventions in three major case studies of historic cities in Iraq (Kadhimiya / Baghdad, Najaf and Karbala) through our direct involvement after the award of the Urban "Renewal" Projects of these cities to Dewan Office. He also gave a brief historical background of these cities, as "Holy Shrines" Cities, their development, deterioration and status quo. Our Documentation, Surveys and Analysis works in order to reach workable Urban Scenarios and Development Alternatives. Al Assam also displayed major challenges, when working with projects of this delicate nature and scale Spatial: how to accommodate the increasing number of pilgrims in a city that is medieval and still protect the integrity of the urban fabric Political: how to work with the politically layered authority, and different (often contradicted) stake holders Heritage: what is heritage and how to address it? Residents, Visitors or "Bricks"? who has the priority? Al Assam tried to sketch Dewan's visions about, what kind of future we want, and for whom the future we want?.

Dewan Solidifies Presence in Lucrative Qatari Market
Dewan Architects & Engineers, showcased a number of new regional and international projects at the Cityscape Qatar held at the Doha Exhibition Centre in Qatar, May - 2012. Dewan recently entered the lucrative Qatari construction and real estate market with the consultancy contract to design and supervise the construction of the Doha Premier Inn Hotel at Education City, Doha, Qatar. The 4-storey, 200-room hotel is set to open in 2013 at a strategic location within the prestigious Education City master development. Dewan has also recently established its Qatar offices in partnership with Peninsular Venture Group, a leading holding company in Qatar, representing a large portfolio of businesses in various sectors, with investments in manufacturing, construction and real estate. Dewan's participation in Cityscape Qatar forms part of its calculated regional growth strategy in view of the rapid pace of development in the Qatari real estate market. Qatar's successful FIFA 2022 world cup bid has given an additional boost to a market that had already shown a much faster recovery rate than most, after the severe shock that real estate industry the world over received during the economic crisis.

Qatar has introduced over $100 billion in new projects, many of which are already underway including residential, commercial, retail, and hospitality developments, all reflecting Qatar's National Vision for 2030. Cityscape Qatar's selection of conferences, exhibitions, and seminars brought together international, regional and local investors, architects and designers, real estate developers, governmental authorities and senior executives involved in the design and construction of public and private real estate developments from Qatar and internationally, and as such it was one of the region's primary real-estate property events. Dewan presented its most recent regional projects located in Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as well as its expansion into the international market with projects such as St. Kitts in Carribean. A number of Dewan's top level management represented the company at this year's Cityscape Qatar and met potential clients, strengthened relationships with existing clients and spotlighted Dewan's leading role in the Qatari market.

Park Hyatt, St Kitts & Nevis - The Caribbean
Dewan Architects are developing the designs now for this exotic site. Christophe Harbour is located within the twin-island, English speaking nation of St. Kitts and Nevis. St. Kitts is some 50-70 miles from the popular yacht cruising destinations of St. Barths, St. Maarten, and Anguilla. The site, located on the island's Southeast Peninsula is a short 15-minute drive from the Robert L. Bradshaw airport, which in addition to a private FBO has direct flights from London, Miami, New York, Atlanta, San Juan and Charlotte. Christophe Harbour is comprised of approximately 2,500 acres of dramatic topography including six of the island's most beautiful beaches, 13 miles of coastline, a 300-acre salt pond, and elevation changes from sea level to more than 1,000 feet. The narrow isthmus leading to the peninsula creates the feel of an "island within an island" providing spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Nevis. Current approvals allow for approximately 2,000 homes, a minimum of 250 hotel rooms, a mega-yacht harbour and marina village; however the development team is continually studying the land to determine the lowest density possible to maintain a successful project.

The current plans provide for approximately 1,500 residences. Dewan proposal for the 5 Star Resort Development, will include the following major components like; Main Pool and All Day Dining Pavilions, Hotel Retail, External Terraces, Pool/Beach Café/ and Sunset Bar, Ball Room, Business Center and Spa with Hot and Wet Treatment. Fitness Center and Jetty. Hotel Rooms with land Bungalows, and on water Bungalows. Villas / Suites (2,3, and 4) bedrooms, Presidential Suites/Villa 4BR, with Room Services and Utilities Support Services Speciality Restaurants, with Casual Dining. Besides a Library/Art Showroom. . .

Maso'od Tower, Abu Dhabi - UAE
The tower occupies an important corner plot in Abu Dhabi and is composed of a basement parking floor, ground and podium floors devoted to retail, and 25 storeys of 1 and 2 bedroom apartment units.The proposed design aims to create an attractive, intelligent and sustainable building, and it was inspired by Sorouh vision, mission and values, which led to the generation of a design characterized by: transparency and flexibility.

EMAAR Hotel, Dubai Marina - UAE
Following the market upturn in Dubai and new development by EMAAR Properties, Dewan Architects been appointed to develop a plot located at the Dubai Marina District. The plan is to create a Mixed-use development including Residential Apartments, Serviced Apartments and Retail. The concept is to have each unit showcase an unrivaled view of the sea and the palm. The location of the Plot is at the southwestern tip of the Marina District and it consists of an area of approximately 12,562.43 sqm. The northern face boasts a frontage that includes a private beach, breakwater entry, and a vast view of the sea and the Palm Jumeirah. Vehicular access is possible via service road. The JBR commercial promenade is within walking distance via access of the nearby bridge.

The development will include Serviced Apartments, Retail, and Residential Apartments of 1,2 & 3 bedrooms. The project will be designed in a way that the residential apartments and serviced apartments are integrated within the plot sharing the same amenities hence having a separate entrance. Unique apartments (i.e. duplex units, penthouse units, sky villas, etc) shall be designed with exclusivity, and should have the best views. The design of the project should be at par with the similar developments in the district but would be uniquely done in a way that would separate it from the rest. .

ARAC Hotel & Apts, Al Khobar - KSA
The ARAC 5-star Hotel and Hotel apartments is strategically located in Al Khobar – KSA, along the Prince Turki Highway covering a plot area of 7000 m². The project consists of 207 guestrooms, 224 serviced apartments, dining venues, leisure facilities like a gym and spa, kids club, indoor swimming pool area, retail shops, hairdressing and coffee shops. It has a fully equipped 600 person capacity banquet hall supported by a business center and meeting rooms perfect to host conferences, banquets and exhibitions, spreading over a total built up area of 66,186 m². The concept design is based on having multiple interconnected layers. The layers are joined to create two buildings, one being the hotel and the other the serviced apartments. The first building is 14-storey high and the latter is 15-storey high. The two buildings are connected through the common shared facilities.

This concept provides for two distinguished buildings and entities, through different heights and shapes. The two masses open up with the shape of two wings that greet the visitors along the Prince Turki street and providing a welcoming expression through the shape of the lobby which reflects the Arab hospitality. The Architectural language is adopting the simplicity of design. Thus the style of the external envelope is composed of glass on the upper floors, blended with a layer of screen on the lower floors. To emphasize the two entities of the project, the lifts of the hotel are selected to be a Panoramic travel from the lobby to the upper floors. This project will be the first of three projects for the same client. Two other projects of the same program will be executed in Riyadh & Jeddah. .

AKH Tower, Dammam - KSA
Abdul Karim Holding Tower occupies a strategic position in the center of the economically vibrant city of Dammam. The tower consists of 35 stories, some of which will be allocated to be the headquarters of Abdul Karim Group, the rest will be leased as office floors to other companies. The building components includes parking in the basement and 7 podium floors accommodate up to 404 cars, while the upper floors will contain office space and related services. The total built up area of the project is 54,846 square meters with a building height up to 150 meters, in addition to high functional efficiency, the proposed design is characterized by distinctive external form as it aims to create an important architectural landmark in the Kingdom. .

OSA Sons Tower, Jeddah - KSA
The OSA SONS Tower is an exclusive new hotel apartment development which will be located by the Jeddah Corniche, and will be an exciting addition to Jeddah's ever growing skyline. The 51 storey tower consists of 33 levels of hotel suits and apartments, as well as a 6 storey parking and leisure podium. The tower also includes restaurants, retail outlets as well as a vast 2 storey underground parking will also be accommodated within the total built up area of approximately 60,000 sqm of the new iconic tower.

Qadisiya Structural Plan
Dewan Architects have been awarded another major planning project in Iraq, to prepare the Structural Plan and future development studies for the Governorate of Qadisiya 180 Km south of Baghdad. The Structural Plan is a forecast spatial development study that aims to raise the economic, social and urban level for the Governorate of Qadisiya, with an approximate area of 8153 Sq Km and a population figure of one Million, for the coming 20 years.

    The study will cover the following:
  • Population and settlements
  • Employment and labor
  • Resources
  • Housing
  • Industry
  • Trade
  • Transport
  • Marketing

Karbala University HQ - Iraq
The project prestigious is located in Karbala, within Karbala University Campus site, covering a site area of 16,000 m². The plot allocated to Karbala University HQ lies in the corner of the Karbala University campus site. To utilize this key location, the design of the building was done to resemble a cornerstone for the campus of the University of Karbala. Regular geometric forms were utilized to convey a graceful image; meanwhile the core was kept hollow to maintain a quality of light and natural ventilation to the central corridors and spaces.The northern corner of the buildings was sculpted with the opening treated with a Spider System glass structure in order to emphasize a welcoming entrance as well as maintain a visual and physical connection with the other buildings in the campus. The total built-up area of the project is 8,800 m², and it consists of the main administrative building, surrounded by other buildings on the ground level dedicated to the public facilities, such as the conference hall, exhibition areas, prayer halls and the cafeteria. . .

Samara University - Iraq
As a key player in the major reconstruction efforts of Iraq, Dewan Architects just been awarded the masterplanning and architectural design of a modern, green university campus in Samarra, north west of Baghdad. The project site is about 2.6 sqm and should be developed with high energy efficient and sustainability standards, to house 12000 students and faculty members. The campus will include 16 specialized colleges with state of the arts research centers and laboratories, university HQ and deanship building, conference hall, central library, students and faculty residences, social & cultural centers, sports facilities, mosque, agricultural farms and other service facilities.

Shatt Al Arab Hotel, Basra - Iraq
The project of Shatt Al Arab 5-star Hotel is located in a prime location in the city of Basrah, covering a plot area of 64100 sqm.. The proposed design aims to create a unique hospitality environment based on local traditional architectural flavor with contemporary interpretation, and It is anticipated that it shall be a landmark project within Basra and will position itself as one of the primary hospitality/residential developments in the area. The total built-up area of the project is 45,000 m², and it Consists of the following : 5-star hotel, ballrooms, various themed restaurants, guestrooms, suites and guest amenities & leisure , G+1 Villas, G+2 shopping mall. . .

Premier Inn Hotel, Doha - Qatar
For the Master developer of Education City Development Qatar Foundation, Dewan is awarded the Design of this project, a 3 stars business/ leisure hotel for Premier Inn Hotels chain. The client is joint venture between Premier Inn Hotels Qatar LLC and Msheireb Properties. The project comprises 219 guestrooms with no suites, distributed on G+4 floors on a plot area of 7,318 sqm. Project's location is at Doha Education City near Exhibition center. Total built-up area for the project is around 10,000sqm. The hotel includes amenities and Leisure and lifestyle utilities such as a modern gymnasium, a swimming pool in addition to the F&B outlets.

Al Arjan Villas & Apts, Riyadh - KSA
Dewan Architects have recently completed all the design stages of this prestigious project in Riyadh – KSA, and the project now at tendering stage for construction.  The Master plan development with an area of 45,900 sqm, has been developed as a gated residential community, comprising of 160 units of 1 BHK, 40 units of 2 BHK, 64 Villas & a Community Center. The site master plan concept is intended to create a family oriented community with attractive environmental facilitated outdoor and indoor services, open yards and landscape features to achieve optimum enrichment of the development for its residents, visitors and surrounding neighborhood. . .

El Seif Residential Compound, Riyadh - KSA
With an overall built up area of 15.234 sq.m, and a total open and play area of 1.420 sq.m, Dewan is awarded the Design Consultancy Services for this project. El Seif  is a residential compound, self-sustained community divided into neighborhoods and is composed of an overall BUA 15,234 m2 and play area. Owned by El Seif Engineering Contracting and located at the junction of Al Imam ibn Saud bin Abdul Aziz Road and Khalid bin Waleed Street in Al-Hamra district of Riyadh. .

    The compound is to be constructed on a primary site of an area of 21.193 sq.m and to consist of the following:
  • 2 bedroom townhouses  (19 Nos.)
  • 3 bedroom townhouses  (40 Nos.)
  • 2 bedroom apartments  (20 Nos.)
  • Facility block & open play areas. (tennis court, basketball court and swimming pool)

Al Khobar Mixed Use Development - KSA
Dewan Architects are recently awarded to develop an area strategically located in the center of Al Khobar city on the intersection of King Saud Road & Salaheddin Al Ayoubi Street with a Total Plot Area of 40,000 m2. .

    The Project GFA is anticipated to reach 400,000 m2 to include the following:
  • 4* Hotel of Approximately 240 Keys & 45 Serviced Apartments, with 26,000 m2 GFA.
  • Offices with 8,000 m2 GFA.
  • Luxurious Residential Apartments (2,3,4 Bedroom & Penthouses with approximately 340,000 m2 GFA.

Repton School, Abu Dhabi - UAE
Dewan Architects have recently finished all the design stages of this project, and the project now is being tendered for construction. Repton Foundation School consists of a two story main building which contains classrooms on the ground floor for KG 1&2 and 12 classrooms on the first floor for Grade 1, as well as a service block. It is located on a 6,867 sq.m plot in a prime location on the developing Reem Island which is accessible via bridges linking it to Abu Dhabi, Sowwah and Saadiyat Islands. The site, as well as most surrounding plots, is owned by Sorouh. The school is operated by Evolvence and all areas on the site are designed for private use by students, parents and staff only. The site is gated and contains a single controlled entry and exit point in order to ensure that only designated individuals are allowed access to the school grounds. .

ADEC KG's phase (2), Abu Dhabi - UAE
Dewan Architects have recently finished all the design stages of the 2nd phase of this project, and the project now is being tendered for construction. Abu Dhabi Educational Council (ADEC) is committed to launching five new kindergarten schools across Al Ain and Abu Dhabi as part of its 'schools of the future' education strategy. Dewan's design for the schools focuses on developing a sustainable learning environment with a vision to establishing a sense of place for these young students. Furthermore, it is a flexible, efficient, safe, cost effective, and sustainable design. Each site has a built-up area of approximately 5,100m2 with each kindergarten school complex designed to accommodate a maximum of 360 Students and 18 classrooms. In each school, faculty and students enjoy facilities such as a library, special education classrooms, physical education facilities, rest areas and a small cafeteria.

There is also a 100m2 nursery included within the school. Educational interactive outdoor learning spaces, parking, support spaces and administration rooms are also incorporated into the animated design that stimulates learning and childhood development. When conceiving the productive vibrant design, Dewan drew inspiration from the community context which the project will serve, and promoting the local culture and maximizing the natural environment was a key objective in the design process. . . . .

Bahr Al Najaf Hotel, Najaf - Iraq
Dewan Architects are preparing the Concept Design of this strategically located Hotel on the edge of the Old City of Holy Najaf, with a total built up area of 55,172 m². The project is being developed by the Iraqi branch of the prominent Dubai based real estate development and service related company, Omniyat. .

    Bahr Al Najaf Hotel consists of the following components:
  • 4 stars Hotel guestrooms.
  • 3 stars Hotel guestrooms.
  • Restaurants.
  • Public areas.
  • Back of house areas.
  • Retail mall/souk.

Dewan Abu Dhabi relocated to its new premises in Marina
Dewan Architects & Engineers Abu Dhabi branch, have recently relocated its offices to the Marina Villas compound in the capital of UAE. The new offices provided ample, healthy and convenient environment to the staff and management, with good conference facilities with clients, and sufficient parking spaces.The present location is close to the Marina Mall, a well known landmark in Abu Dhabi and only a short distance away from the capital centre. .

Building Sites

Office Building on Al Salam St., Abu Dhabi – UAE, Completed
Constructions and finishing works are completed on this prestigious G+7 Commercial building in Al Salam street - Abu Dhabi, and the project was successfully handed over.With a total BUA area of approximately 26,600 sq.m office spaces. .

Premier Inn Hotel - Airport, Abu Dhabi - UAE, In Progress
Site works are well in progress for this strategically located business hotel near Abu Dhabi airport. Concrete works just topped the 4th floor of a total G+5 floors. Premier Inn is positioned on one of the busiest locations of the ADIA precinct, just across the street from the Terminal 3. The Design of this building is the outcome of a careful mix of hotel functions displayed in simple and clean architectural masses seeking distinguishable presence in the surroundings. Sustainable design is yet another feature of the project. The building will be constructed to carry an Estidama Sustainable compliance credential demonstrating the efforts done by the stakeholders to share the environmental responsibilities towards the surroundings and beyond. .

Premier Inn Hotel - ADNEC, Abu Dhabi - UAE, Handed Over
Building Completion Certificate is issued for this project near Abu Dhabi Exhibition Center, and the project is handed over successfully and occupied.. This 242 Rooms Hotel consists of 3 Basements Floors + Ground + Podium + 11 Typical Floors + Roof and upper roof with an area of approximate 18,800 M2. There is swimming pool, Gymnasium, Kitchen, Restaurant, Costa Café, Business Centre and Management Offices in Podium Level.

Rumaithy Tower, Abu Dhabi - UAE, Handed Over
Constructions and finishing works are completed on this prestigious G+8 Commercial building in Abu Dhabi, and the project was successfully handed over. The Project included the Design and Construction, Completion and Maintenance of a Commercial Development on Plot No. C-262 in Abu Dhabi City. The Works included complete sub and super-structural and civil works, Architectural internal and external finishes, carpentry and joinery works, internal and external electrical and mechanical services and metal, aluminum and glazing works.

Shk. Tahnoon Commercial / Residential bldg., Abu Dhabi - UAE. Handed Over
The Project included the Design & Construction, Completion and Maintenance of a Commercial/Residential Building on Plot No. C-96 in Abu Dhabi City, comprising of; 3 Basement Car Parking, Ground Floor, Mezzanine Floor, 12 Typical Floors and Technical Roof. The building is handed over and successfully occupied after completion of the sub and super-structural and civil works, architectural internal and external finishes, carpentry and joinery works, internal and external electrical and mechanical services and metal, aluminum and glazing works.

ADEC Future Schools Program, Phase 3 - Pack 1, Abu Dhabi - UAE. In Progress
Site works are well in progress on these 3 schools, expected to be completed in June 2013. The project "Abu Dhabi Future School Program Phase-3" comprises of 3 Schools located in Abu Dhabi. It is part of the project launched by Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) as part of their strategic initiative to upgrade the education infrastructure of the Emirate.. The Schools having a capacity of approximately 1250 students are designed for cycle 2 & 3 (Grade 6 to Grade 12) students. Each school of 2 floors has a Built up area of 20306 sqm. The design comprises of 10 learning communities of 5 classrooms each with a central breakout space. The Schools have been designed to provide the latest and most modern technologies and facilities like design & technology workshops, science labs, computer labs, library, art room, music room, gymnasium, swimming pool, auditorium and cafeteria.

Outdoor recreational facilities like volley ball courts has been provided for the girls school at Al Shawamekh and football field for the boys schools at Al Shamkha & Baniyas. The design encourages the use of different parts of the School by the community after school hours for educational and recreational activities. The Schools have been designed to meet the 3 pearls in the Estidama rating system. Special care has been taken in design for the inclusion of students with special needs. The design adheres to the requirements of the client provided in the Design Manual in terms of aesthetics, functionality, durability, cost effectiveness and sustainability. . .

AD Church , Abu Dhabi - UAE. In Progress
Main buildings structure and closing works are finished in this important building in Abu Dhabi and finishing works are well in progress. The Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has obtained this site from His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi with the intent of building a meetinghouse for worshiping services. The site is located on Al Musaffah in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. On this site, the Meetinghouse is designed to recognize the sacred and solemn nature of its structure with emphasis on the appropriateness of its use as a spiritual setting by its patrons.. The Meetinghouse main building will be comprised of approximately 1,257 sqm of program space. The suggested program elements are to include G + 3 Floors. . .

Bateen Park, Abu Dhabi - UAE. Handing Over
Major site works are finished in this prestigious project and the project now is in the pre-snag handing over stage. Occupying a prime location at the core of the prestigious Al Bateen Area in Abu Dhabi City, Al Bateen Park consists of apartment blocks, townhouses, villas, small retail outlets and other ancillary buildings. The entire plot of 100,644m² is divided into Site A which is 33,342m² and Site B which is 67,302m². The development consists of 12 buildings containing 296 apartment units with 2, 3, 4 bedrooms, all with a basement level, ground floor plus five additional storeys and a penthouse at the top of each building; 10 Villas of 6 bedrooms; 40 Villas of 4 bedrooms; 25 townhouses of 4 bedrooms and a small retail area (700 m²). Plentiful open spaces are scattered around the development, covered with both hard and soft landscaping with facilities for children's play grounds, swimming pool and covered parking. Abundant seating areas are spread over the open green areas with fountains and sculptures dotted throughout the development. The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council (UPC) has deemed this project in compliance with the Pearl Credit Requirements, under Estidama Pearl Community, for Buildings and Villa Design Rating Systems. This is the first "Community" approval in the UAE and is an achievement for Dewan and its team. . .

The Avenue Phase 1, Dubai - UAE. In Progress
Site works are progressing fast on this vibrant retail project in the heart of Jumeira - Dubai, as the project is 75% finished, including most of the works related to finishing (front shops façade and exterior hard and soft landscaping. The Avenue Retail Development by Dubai-based real estate firm Meraas Development is situated in a prime residential neighborhood in Jumeira. The Avenue encompasses 57 retail units, including a well-known branded anchor supermarket, various restaurants and coffee shops, as well as a healthcare clinic. Covering a total built-up area of 12,800 m² on a plot of a approximately 53,000 m², the project boasts extensive and attractive landscaping, water features and green spaces, resulting in an urban retail and leisure destination for the Jumeira community. . .

Higher Women College, RAK - UAE, Handing Over
All site works are finished in this prestigious project and the project now is in the handing over stage. The Higher College of Technology, Ras Al Khaimah Women's College campus, is located in Ras Al Khaima, on a site of 160,000 m². The institute is intended to provide academic programs in addition to providing services to the surrounding community. The building is a 'G+1' structure with a total BUA 21,104 m, and has been designed to house classrooms, offices, cafeteria, multimedia lounges, large multipurpose lecture halls and attractive internal and external landscaped areas. A substantial auditorium and recreational area will be located close to the Men's College to enable both colleges to share the space. . .

Al Rawdatain Hotel, Karbala - Iraq. In Progress
Main steel structure and walls /columns at Ground floor slab is completed in this 5-star hotel/furnished apartments building located in the Holy City of Karbala. The site of 7,400 m2 area is strategically located in Karbala City within 510 m of the Holy Shrines. The hotel comprises of basement, ground and 12 floors with a built-up area of 64,740 m2, and is designated to have 144 hotel guest rooms in the first three floors, 468 furnished apartment units of 4 types in the 9 typical floors, 5 food and beverages outlets in the ground & first floor and other administrative & services located on basement, ground and first floor. The hotel will be operated by Shaza Hotels/Kempinski. . .

Qanat Al Jaish (Army Canal), Baghdad - Iraq. In Progress
Qanat Al Jaish is located in the eastern part of Baghdad, connecting Tigres River with Diyala River , and it is one of the most important axes in the city of Baghdad, stretching over 23 km. Qanat Al Jaish Development Project, currently supervised by Dewan supervision team of engineers, and aims to enhance the importance of this water channel and its integration with the surrounding neighbourhoods, as well as creating a tourist and entertainment destination. The proposed master plan consists of green areas, kiosks, cafes; children play areas, open air stages, fountains and other water features, bridges and other different facilities. .

Reziza Tower, Khobar - KSA. Enabling Works
Dewan's Riyadh office is supervising the construction of the prestigious Al Reziza Tower in Al Khobar, after completing all design stages, enabling works are started on the site. The commercial building has a total built-up area of 18,000m2 and consists of retail outlets on the ground and mezzanine floors, parking on two basements and four upper mezzanine podium floors and 28 storeys of premier commercial office space. Conveniently located on the Khobar-Dammam road, Al Reziza Tower is envisaged to be an architectural landmark of the region.

Project in Brief

Implementing Building Information Modeling (BIM)
Mina Road Commercial Residential Complex, Abu Dhabi - UAE
Department of Presidential Affairs DOPA of Abu Dhabi have awarded the design of this strategically located project to Dewan Architects. The site plan is composed of three plots located on Mina road which are to be joined together to form one plot. The project plot dimensions is approximately   112 m x 24 m. The project components is residential/ retail and consists of 4 basements + Ground + Mezzanine + 34 Typical floors + Health club at the roof, the two  floors above the Mezzanine to be high standard retail areas ( Small Mall ), the apartment types is two, three and four bedrooms. In collaboration with the Client; Dewan Architects & Engineers has made the decision to migrate from 2d AutoCAD to Autodesk Revit for Al Meena Residential/Commercial Project. By using leading BIM protocols and training, based on practical experience and execution of BIM Technologies on large construction projects. These protocols & training programs will enable Dewan to achieve the highest levels of design, engineering, construction efficiencies, optimization and quality. In order for Dewan to ensure a smooth implementation of its full in-house BIM capabilities; we carried out an extensive training, implementation and support programme.

    The training programme will involve training in key BIM software, namely:
  • Revit Architecture 2013
  • Revit Structure 2013
  • Revit MEP 2013
  • Autodesk Navisworks
Dewan design development teams will proceed with developing the design while the training & production work is occurring. The design team will start working on 3D from the first weeks and build Project BIM Model from the beginning. Model will be further developed, elaborated and possibly modified during the further design phases. In parallel with it, Senior Staff will be reviewing available design documentation and will provide comments to 3D modeller for consideration/implementation. At this point, BIM Specialist will assist the team in determining the best method of integrating the design and productions teams to optimize the design delivery.

Using the Revit 2013 Architecture tools specifically built to support Building Information Modelling workflows, Dewan can capture and analyse concepts and maintain the vision through design, documentation, and construction.

  • Green building Studio
  • I model
  • Navisworks Export Plugin
  • IFC Plugin
  • Energy Analysis
  • Export Revit Model to Bentley
  • Model Export to Navisworks
  • Export/Import Standard
Using Revit 2013 Structure software provides structural engineers and designers with the tools to more accurately design and build efficient building structures.

Using Revit 2013 MEP provides mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) engineers with the tools to design even the most complex building systems. In parallel, the sustainability/Estidama Consultant will also carry out Energy modelling specifically for the purposes of Estidama submission. .

Success Stories

Basra Governorate HQ,  1st prize - Iraq
As a result of an international design competition, organized by the Governorate of Basra, Dewan Architects have been awarded the 1st prize for the submitted design of the Basra Governorate HQ Building. The project aims to contribute to the image of the city by creating a monumental structure and a landmark, as well as contributing to the life of the city by the services and variable functions provided for the inhabitants of Basra. The design was inspired by "the palm frond", one of the most important symbols of this city, and the final configuration of the building was a result of a study and analysis of the natural structure of this element, taking into consideration the site context, and the environmental conditions of the area, in order to achieve natural ventilation and lighting, and to provide shaded areas for the users. . .

Basra Culture Palace 1st prize - Iraq
Another achievement for Dewan and its newly established Basra branch, Dewan Architects has been awarded the 1st prize for the design of Basra Culture Palace. The Basra Governorate has invited for an international competition to design the new Culture Palace of the city, on a plot of land with and approximate area of 15.275 m2, (65 * 235) m near Shatt al-Basra within the new administrative complex, which includes the new Basra Governorate HQ. The Basra Cultural Center should reflect the heritage and culture of the city. This building will be the cultural platform of the city, with a total built up area of 20868 m2, hosting different cultural events and festivals, utilizing the latest technologies in lighting and sound systems in a modern architectural language and practical distribution of areas and functions, taking into considerations economic, sustainability, safety and security aspects, and making sure that the final outcome is compatible with the contemporary architectural styles in the world, and in the same time taking into account Basra heritage and visual legacy reflecting a bright image of the city.

The design approach was translated on the building façades in diagonal square shaped openings, reminiscent of the "Dots" in Arabic Calligraphy, spreading on the main elevation, gradually reduced in size as they get closer to the main entrance void, which is the focal point of the architectural and engineering composition of the project. The relatively large void that cuts through the building mass can be interpreted as the heart of the projects, where social interaction takes place, in addition to its main function as an entrance for the public. The central void contains sequential ramps, linked on different levels, connecting the two parts of the building for easier access to the inner spaces, in addition to a number of elevators and escalators inside the building. The idea of the book pages was translated into curvilinear gradual architectural elements that resemble an open book. Whether visitors are approaching on foot or by car, the dynamism of these elements can be sensed. Further, some ornamental features were introduced, in terms of calligraphy and poetry to decorate those "pages", and perpetuate the cultural role of Basra throughout the history. . .

ENR Ranking
Dewan has been ranked this year on the very prestigious ENR Magazine Top International Design Firms list which was published in the July 23 issue. As stated, Dewan is ranked 154th in the Top 200 International Design Firms. This is basically a very well regarded global ranking of all firms who do business outside their home country (UAE for Dewan) and includes architects, engineers, and specialists. Our ranking is extremely positive and shows our firm's growth in regional markets.

The feature story which also mentions Dewan can also be found at: [ Link ]

The Top 200 International Design Firms list starts at: [ Link ]

Dewan People

Ramadan Iftar 2012
Among a nice atmosphere, the Dewan family and branch offices have attended The Dewan Annual Iftar, which took place on August the 2nd 2012 at the St Regis Hotel on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. This annual activity has been the tradition of Dewan for may years and is a good opportunity for all Dewan family members to be under the same roof. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Photography by Farah Al Amin
Besides her work as an architect, Farah has developed a passion for fine arts and photography. She refined her skills during her study, and pursuit to architecture and photography led to producing architectural photos that earned positive acclaim in the photography community in UAE.

Readings & Research

Tony Garnier and The Industrial City 1899-1918 Cite' Industrielle
By Rayhon Aria, Under supervision of Dafir Mann

The end of the nineteenth century was a time of great change throughout Europe. The advent of industrialisation changed the landscape of the city forever. Many of the changes were not for the better and living conditions in industrial cities steadily worsened. The Industrial Revolution had the effect of bringing more and more people from the countryside into the heart of the city looking for work. Such dramatic over-population and unlimited urban growth led to slum housing, dirt, disease and a lack of communal green spaces within the city landscape. Modern urban planning arose in response to this disorder. Reformation of these areas was the objective of the early city planners, who began to impose supervisory laws establishing housing standards for housing, sanitation etc. Urban planners also introduced parks, playground in city neighbourhoods, for recreation as well as visual relief. The notio of zoning was a major concept of urban planning at this time.

Tony Garnier was a French architect born in Lyons in 1869 and it is clear that the city and surroundings had a great influence on him. His father was a silk drawer from whom he resultant his initial artistic interests as well as his ferocious, lifelong devotion to the Lyonnais and their city. Whilst growing up Lyons was an industrial centre for textiles and metallurgy, the two industries provided for by Garnier s proposal for his industrial city. For years France's second city, Lyons battled continually for decentralization from Parisian administrative control and was always a centre of socialist strength; though in French politics this organized a moderate centrist position. Garnier absorbed all of this, lending distinctive qualities to his architectural ambitions and objectives .In mid-century one of the first main railway system links Lyons in France ,in 1880s with electrification of its trams and local railway , it was well placed to become a main centre for technical and industrial innovation .Photography , cinematography , hydro-electric generation, automobile production and aviation all saw their first beginning there between 1882 and the turn of the century.

Understanding Garnier's adoration of his native city and its people is the key to comprehending his social and architectural development. Even prior to his departure from Paris, while at the École des Beaux-Arts, he had conceived the fabulous possibilities of a new industrial community. On graduation, however, he undertook the design of a bank, after the standard manner of the Parisian École des Beaux-Arts, and as a result in 1900 won the esteemed Prix de Rome. Dispatch for further study and work to Rome's famed Villa de Medici, at the time administered by the French Academy, was his reward, and there he reverted to his earlier designs for his Cité Industrielle. On presentation, his plans were rejected in 1901 by the École des Beaux-Arts on the grounds that, as the school's paid disciple, he was expected to pursue work in Italy drawn from classical and Renaissance architecture. In fact, for the next three years, he sought to satisfy the expectations of the École des Beaux-Arts, which proved to be restoration plans for the ancient Italian community of Tusculum(Tusculum is one of the largest Roman cities in Alban Hills), while simultaneously continuing plans for his Cité Industrielle on his own initiative. In 1904, he revealed both plans at a Parisian exposition. Garnier's plans for a novel community, industrial, to be sure, but projected toward a fresh public and social setting, in principle were not unique. Before the mid-nineteenth century, thousands (more than three thousand in the United States alone) of small utopian communities from New Lanark to Brook Farm were created. However, the post-1850 quantum leap in scientific-technological advances and the concomitant growth of massively populated cities, as well as the spread of urbanism generally, evoked new imperatives and challenges.

There was the example of the Haussmannization of Paris ;of Camillo Sitte's proposals to redesign Vienna; of a number of German planners eager to reconstruct Wiesbaden, Munich, Mainz, and Darmstadt; and not least Sir Ebenezer Howard's actual design and creation (in 1898) of the Garden City of Letchworth near London. Such was the context in which Garnier formulated his Cité Industrielle. Howard aside, all continental planning required the restoring of existing cities, and that was Garnier's point of departure. Having imagined his Cité Industrielle by the early 1900's, Garnier nevertheless waited until 1917 to illuminate his concepts publicly in his two-volume Une Cité Industrielle, with 160 plates, a introduction expressing his socialist utopianism, and an explanation of his liking for concrete materials. His selection of concrete, the new uses of which were the result of French engineering pioneers, influenced him greatly, for as an astute architect he knew of their achievements though he would add his own style to their concepts and materials. Despite alterations in a number of his undertakings, his architectural philosophy changed not at all.

At the end of the 19th century it was believed that many social reforms could be achieved gradually through moral and intellectual education leading to a future ideal state. Garnier believed in the basic goodness of man :when asked why his city contained no law courts, police force stations, jail or church he is said to have replied that the new society governed by socialist law would have no need of churches as capitalism would be suppressed. In the Utopias of this period, fundamental, natural and primitive conditions were stressed; the emphasis on exercise, health, and physical well-being was a consequence to the awakening interest in natural life. Garnier's inclusion of a large public area for sports and spectacles in his city related to early utopian philosophy, pagan antiquity and love for games.

Garnier grand concept of an imaginary planned industrial city, worked out in the earliest years of the 20th century, was first published in 1918.  This work is a portfolio of over 160 plates, and is both visionary and detailed in its socialist organization.  The Steed man copy of this work is the two-volume second edition, published in 1932.

Cité Industrielle was to embrace thirty-five thousand people and was to be located on a plateau in south eastern France, close to a steady water supply and a then-proposed dam. The plan was comprehensive and of two major parts, each physically separated. . Une Cite industrialle is a well-coordinated and monumentally comprehend plan placed in a park like setting where both the classical spirit of the academic tradition and the primitive simplicity of utopian ideas is verified. In his proposal, Garnier tried to take into account all aspects of the city including governmental, residential, manufacturing and agricultural practices. The various functions of the city were clearly related, but separated from each other by location and patterns.

  • The public area at the heart of the city was grouped into 3 sections: administrative services and assembly halls, museum collections and sports facilities.
  • The residential area is made up of rectangular blocks running east-west which gives the city its characteristic elongated form. The residential districts are the first attempt towards passive solar architecture. Garnier had energy efficiency in mind as the city was to be powered by a hydroelectric station with a dam which was located in the mountains along with the hospital.
The city was completed by a railroad station to the east.

Its centre consisted of a mixed public and residential zone: administrative facilities, museums, sports and recreational areas, shops, an abattoir, a train station, a primary school, and a tall clock tower.

Along an elongated east-west axis were residences, basically concrete cubes surrounded by trees, though these were augmented by four-story concrete apartment buildings whose ability to provide cheap, high-density living had impressed Garnier in Paris .These were linked by arterial roadways to secondary areas such as outlying industrial areas: mines and a silk factory, for example.

Northward, a hydroelectric plant was planned. Isolated by nearby mountains, there was to be a hospital separated from town by a park.

. .

Somewhat farther northwest was to be a cemetery. Thus, in fact, nearly all functionally distinct areas were interspersed by greenbelts and rural scenes of grazing cattle, farmland, and vineyards. This description is synoptic, for changes occurred as the plan altered over the years.

Although classically trained and well-practiced in the execution of this training, Garnier broke new ground in his profession, establishing a new functional architecture urban functionalism which, while begun in France, soon established a novel set of objectives and possibilities for architects elsewhere. In his prime, he never departed philosophically from his perceptions of his Cité Industrielle, regardless of the projects originally urged on him by his advisors. A socialist, and something of a Utopian to boot, he lived among working people in Lyons and Paris for a time and consecrated his profession to opening fresh aesthetic and visual worlds for them. Cité Industrielle blended a public and cultural centre with parks and greenbelts, appropriately melding different spatial prospects. The structural materials that he exploited most brilliantly were concrete, for his simple cubic residences, and, for larger buildings, great cantilevers of reinforced concrete and the liberal use of glass for roofing and other areas to open interiors. While many of his contemporaries were indifferent to architectural aesthetics and their social implications, these aesthetics were evidence of Garnier's hallmarks, forte, and distinctive genius. Le Corbusier acknowledged his own indebtedness to Garnier, crediting him for his efforts to combine and order both the utilitarian and pliable as well as his choice of volumes of space to match both practical and aesthetic considerations.

Above all, Le Corbusier admired Garnier's development and retention of genuine professional poetic sensibilities and his intimate identification with the culturist models to which he devoted his career. Garnier's Cité Industrielle was never built but echoes of his vision can be seen in Lyon where the mayor appointed him the city architect in 1905, a position he held until 1919. The most important work to emerge from his Cité Industrielle was the large stockyards complex, the stadium, the Grange Blanche Hospital and the housing project known as Les États Unis.

There were commissions (and competitions), from which Garnier earned a living between 1905 and 1914: a Lyonnais dairy, a Parisian low-income housing project, a Marseilles stock exchange, a market and abattoir for Reims, and yet another abattoir for Lyons, several Lyonnais suburban villas, as well as the city's municipal stadium, and service as chief architect for an international exposition in Lyons. Besides a fresh edition of his original work on Cité Industrielle, he published Les Grands Travaux de la ville de Lyon (1923), a survey including plans and constructions of monuments, hospitals, schools, houses, pasteurization plants, communication facilities, cultural establishments, and a cemetery.

From 1918 until 1939, Garnier completed the États-Unis living quarters, a monument to the war dead, a telephone centre, and a textile school, and he entered a competition for a park all in Lyons. His work was not confined to Lyons. Boulogne-Billancourt owed him its town hall; the Exposition of Decorative Arts in Paris its Lyons-Saint Étienne Pavilion; and Santo Domingo its projected monument to Christopher Columbus. He was involved in competitions for a hospital in Saint Étienne, a theatre in Reims, and an additional park in Lyons. Nearing his seventy-ninth year, he died on January 19, 1948, at La Bédoule, France. Garnier was famous in his own country as one of the first of its architects and honoured by numerous architectural societies internationally. . .

I have enjoyed excellent support over the course of preparing this article from my patient supervisor come lecturer, Mr. Dafir Mann and my husband, Farshid. In presenting this article I've drawn extensively from below links and group discussions:

[ Link 01 ]   |   [ Link 02 ]   |   [ Link 03 ]   |   [ Link 04 ]   |   [ Link 05 ]   |   [ Link 06 ]

My special gratitude goes to Mr. Dafir for his formal and structured supervision which has made the process an enjoyable learning space.

Rayhone Aria


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