Monday, October 12, 2009

Dubai Municipality wins two architecture awards

Dubai Municipality wins two architecture awards

Eng. Hussein Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality congratulated the Architectural Heritage Department at the Municipality on winning the Middle East Architecture Award for the Best Restoration Project and the Cityscape Cultural Heritage Award.
He encouraged them to continue their efforts and their quest for more international awards in this area that reflect the efforts and creativity in the field of architectural heritage.
Eng. Rashad Bukhash, Director of Architectural Heritage Department at Dubai Municipality handed over the awards to the Director-General in the presence of a number of other officials.
On winning the awards, Bukhash said the Municipality won the Middle East Architecture Award for the Best Restoration Project through the renovation project of the Syed Mohammed Sharif Sultan Al Ulema House in Bastakiya.
He said the Middle East Architecture Award is considered to be a global forum of architects in the Middle East; and its main task is to provide opportunity to gather the elite of architects and engineering offices; encourage local practices and honour the outstanding leadership efforts in all areas of professional practices.
Bukhash said that the renovation project of the Syed Mohammed Sharif Sultan Al Ulema House by the Architectural Heritage Department is a model locally and regionally for quality in dealing with the specialty of the building and its historic value, and it reflects the department's constant efforts to deal with the cultural legacy with a long-term perspective to enable sustainability and be a determining factor of national identity.
He said that the Middle East Architecture Award by the ITP Foundation for Commerce and Publishing given annually, is attended by several international jury members, including Dr. Eileen Orbesly of Oxford University of Britain, specialist in the field of architectural conservation, Mr. Jeff Willis, from ERP Group, Mr. Lee Morris from Atkins and others who are highly experienced in the field of architecture.
Nominations for the award include projects of different categories, including Best Architect and the Best Engineering Office, Best Infrastructure Project, Best Multifunctional Project and others. The project of Syed Mohammed Sharif Sultan Al Ulema House in Bastakiya is a unique model in restoration and conservation of historic buildings at the UAE level, which reflects the high sensitivity in dealing with such buildings at rehabilitation. It is one of the best examples, in addition to the existence of the remaining houses in Bastakiya area with distinctive interiors, rich ornamental gypsum work and wind towers, which have become the most important symbols of the local architecture in the UAE. The Architectural Heritage Department undertook the restoration of the house in 1997 to make its headquarters.
The second award the Department received was the Cultural Heritage Award during the Cityscape awards this year, which are considered corporate awards that celebrate the excellence in the development sector and real estate investment. The event was held at the Grand Hyatt Dubai as part of the major events of Cityscape Dubai 2009.
Bukhash was awarded the Cultural Heritage Award for his distinguished and tireless efforts in preserving the architectural heritage in the Emirate of Dubai.
Commenting on his winning architectural heritage award, Mr. Suha Ozkan, the founder of the World Architecture Association and the former Chairman of the Aga Khan Award for Islamic Architecture, who is also a member of the judging committee for the Cityscape Awards, said that Rashad has not only marked his accomplishments in the field of renovation and restoration of old buildings, but also in the innovative way in the integration of public spaces in historical areas with cultural practices and activities that focused on the local community.
The number of nominations for the Cityscape Awards this year reached a record 300 nominations and the winners were selected by a judging committee composed of five members with expertise and specialization in real estate and engineering based on the level of excellence, innovation and meeting the requirements of environmental protection and contribution to the development of architectural culture in societies.
The Cityscape Real Estate Awards include several categories of projects covering commerce, multiple use, residential areas, public facilities, leisure, hospitality, buildings for entertainment, residential buildings, tourist facilities and transport networks. There are three other awards given to outstanding contributions in protecting the environment, the art of Islamic architecture and planning of real estate projects.

Photo: The architecture awards won by DM is being handed over to Eng. Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director General of Dubai Municipality

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