AGi architects have been selected by guest-editors George Katodrytis and Kevin Mitchell to be part of the new issue of Architectural Design (AD) entitled UAE and the Gulf: Architecture and Urbanism Now.
Projects such as Wafra Living, GDIS, Mop House and Tamdeen Square Residences are featured in an article entitled The Struggle for integrity. Emerging Local Practices in the Gulf, which also included the work of three other regional design firms all of which are based in the UAE.
According to Helen Castle in her editorial, “the picture that George and Kevin and their contributors provide is a far cry from the bling of me-me Dubai architecture of the 2000s. Highlighting key issues such as the various manifestations of rapid urbanisation, the cultural identity of heritage and education buildings and sustainability, they bring the recent history and immediate future of the region under close scrutiny”*.
For the guest-editors in charge of the issue, these practices have contributed to defining the future of architecture in their home countries. The confident and uncompromising approaches to exemplary projects in Gulf cities in the 1960s and 1970s are once again evident in the work of these young emerging practitioners. In some way, the same rupture that occurred by devaluing the past and ignoring the value of the local until very recently is also evident when one examines the genealogy of practice in the Gulf. During the late 1990s, the lessons that could have been learned from the deliberate attempts to reconcile place-specific forms of expression with new realities following the discovery of oil and natural gas were ignored in favour of generic buildings with applied motifs.
The authors also highlight the challenges that indigenous studios in the region encounter and feel confident about the future, saying that “progress is possible in the struggle for survival and integrity”, something that AGi architects too believe.
For further information:
* All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or otherwise, except under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 or under the terms of a licence issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd, 90 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 4LP, UK, without the permission in writting of the Publisher.