'Awards our highlight of 2010' say X Architects

Dubai-based firm win Best Principal and Best Boutique Firm

Ahmed Al Ali and Farid Esmaeil
Ahmed Al Ali and Farid Esmaeil

X Architects founders Ahmed Al Ali and Farid Esmaeil said winning two awards last night in Dubai was their highlight of 2010 so far.

The pair picked up awards for Best Principal and Best Boutique Firm, with judges commending their leadership and innovative projects that are firmly set in the context of Dubai.

Commenting on the two awards, Al Ali said: “We were surprised. It’s really amazing.”

“It is very important for us (to win), especially in such a competitive market. We want to make ourselves distinctive in our work and designs and this will really help us.”

Esmaeil added: “This will act as a catalyst for us and our vision. It encourages us to push further.”

Speaking about the firm’s design philosophy, Ahmed said X Architects wanted to create architecture that is responsive to the environment and transfers local knowledge into a international style.

“We are trying to push the industry and the technology and innovative and represent our way of thinking, but not on a local scale, on an international scale,” he said.

Esmaeil added that this philosophy was all the more important given the effects of the financial crisis.

“We feel there has been great architecture and cities in this part of the world over history. But in a way, it feels like because of the boom, there has been a discontinuation of the whole knowledge of our culture and our social way of living and environmental issues.

“We don’t want to be nostalgic and redo what people used to do but we want to create a more contemporary architecture and learn from our principles and bring back our principles to our way of living.”

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