MEA Sept 2017 cover- Six Construct

22 MEA MARKETS / September 2017 , tangramGulf is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary, architectural and engineering design, management and site supervision practice with studios in Abu Dhabi, Algiers, Doha, Dubai, Hong Kong and London. Following their success in receiving the UAE Business of the Year 2017 award, we interviewed the firm’s design director, SandraWoodall to gain an insight into the firm’s award-winning work. Building in the Middle East and North Africa tangramGulf are close to completing their third decade of operation in the MENA region and are highly familiar with the technical, environmental and cultural challenges of building in the Middle East and North Africa. The firm’s design director, Sandra Woodall explains to us more about the firm’s respected work and how they approach each client and project. “Our Dubai design studio tangramGulf, from where we operate across the GCC, the wider Middle East and North Africa is one of only a hand full of non - UK based practices to be accredited Chartered Practice status by the Royal Institute of British Architects and is led by the only RIBA Fellow to be based in the GCC. “We offer a holistic approach to the integration of fully engineered design solutions that respond to specific site and client needs for each project. Our work is acknowledged: ‘for continuing to push boundaries with fresh and exciting ideas across the region, which have sustainability at their core’ (Middle East Architect Awards, 2014, where tangramGulf were the highly- commended runner’s up for the ‘Large Architectural Firm of the Year’). “Within the company there is a strong tradition of the delivery of social infrastructure projects that are recognised for the quality of design, with tangramGulf receiving over 30 design awards and recognitions over the last seven years. Our project experience includes: regional development plans, community master plans, residential and mixed-use developments, healthcare, education and research facilities, sports facilities, hotels, offices, public and cultural buildings, amongst many other project types.” The firm has specialist medical planners and educational designers, dedicated landscape and interior design team members. They offer a full range of design, project supervision and contract management services, Sandra tell us. She expands on this point and adds her thoughts on the firm’s philosophy behind client service. “We are often retained to conduct feasibility studies, establish project standards and design guidelines or frameworks and undertake peer review on a variety of complex developments. Working with government departments, developers and private clients alike. “At tangramGulf we have a strong track record of applying local and traditional sustainable design principles and reinterpreting these to support contemporary lifestyles, business and environmental needs. “We delivered the first government building in Dubai to incorporate green roof design, which led to policy change for all future Dubai Government building standards, across the Emirate. We demonstrated how the incorporation of natural qanat cooling, heat sinks and passive shading could be utilised to inform the technical guidelines for FIFA 2022 Qatar World Cup stadium designs, for which we were awarded the 1708ME01 ‘2013 Middle East Sustainable Design of the Year’, at the Middle East Architect Awards. We developed these studies further by proposing tidal cooling of offshore stadia designs for which we were finalists at the Construction Week ‘GCC Sustainable Project of the Year 2014’. “Our designs for the region’s first nuclear benchmarking, testing and research centre was curated by the UK’s Architect’s Journal and exhibited as ‘architecture tomorrow’ at MIPIM UK, whilst the works once completed, were awarded the ‘2015 Sustainable Design of the Year’, at the Middle East Architect’s Awards. With tangramGulf being praised by MEAA for their ‘simple, yet innovative, fresh and welcoming design, in a project which is of huge importance for the UAE as a nation’. “The scheme was a culmination of decades of practice, research and reinterpretation of local and traditional design and building techniques and practices, that emphasise and promote a built environment that sits within and