What are your thoughts on architecture within the UAE region and how does it compare to the rest of the world?
I think in many ways the development of architecture in the UAE shares characteristics with our home market. Over the past forty years, the growth of the Chinese economy has been one of the major factors that has driven Chinese architecture.
Likewise, over the past forty or so years, the UAE region has witnessed huge GDP growth. Although there are differences in the economic models – the Chinese model being fueled by manufacturing, the Emirati model being fueled by mineral wealth – there are however similarities both in terms of the social and economic change that the respective booms have brought, and in terms of the recent drive towards diversified service economies in both nations. There is also common ground in that both regions are led by proud leader that want to contribute to the well-being of their people.
In both regions, this new wealth has been given public expression in architecture – whether one thinks of the Beijing Olympic Stadium or the skyscrapers of Hong Kong and Shanghai, or the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, or the Louvre Abu Dhabi – these are new global icons that represent each regions wishes to express their culture, their technological prowess and their confidence in the future. The Burj, in particular is seen as a beacon that anchors the people of the UAE to their homeland
LWK+PARTNERS believe there are important lessons to be shared, and that’s one of the reasons we have established our presence in the MENA region and why we are participating in this year’s Cityscape; we want to share our expertise in quickly and efficiently creating high density cities, and at the same time bring some of the UAE’s experience in creating beautiful, inspiring cities back to China.
To know more about how the architecture sector is Embracing localization, click here