DUBAI.- The spotlight shone on Atkins last night at the 2008 Middle East Architect Awards, with the multinational design and engineering consultancy walking away with two coveted honours.
Of a possible 11 awards presented during the gala dinner in Dubai, Atkins was short listed as a finalist in four categories and claimed the top honours of Architect of the Year and Young Architect of the Year, beating off stiff competition.
"This vote, by the industry, on our Architectural capability is very well received and exemplifies the quality work we are producing in a wide variety of sectors across the region." commented Tim Askew, Managing Director for Atkins in the Middle East & India.
'Poetic, refreshing, responsible' were some of the words used by judges to describe the 2008 Middle East Architect of the Year, Nicholas Bailey, one of the leading architects in the region whose focus on sustainability has bought a new dimension to architecture.
"I'm shocked and surprised, but very happy." said Nick after he collected the award.
Based in Atkins in Bahrain, Nicholas is responsible for the award winning* design for Al Sharq in Kuwait, Mahboula Towers in Kuwait, Bombay Dyeing in India and Nomas Towers in Bahrain. He is helping to establish the Middle East as a benchmark for world-class architecture with buildings and developments that are not only beautiful and iconic but also practical in construction and sustainable in philosophy.
His philosophy is clearly an inspiration to those that work alongside him, as Carmy Wong, a senior within the design team, clinched the Middle East Young Architect of the Year award.
This award was hotly contested by Atkins with fellow Atkins Architect Loubna Al Zalek also short listed as one of three finalists to make the cut.
"I am very happy for Carmy," said Nicholas, "she was a founding member of Bahrain architecture team and it's a great testament to the work of our team and highlights the fact Architecture can be created as a group effort. Her work represents the human aspects of architecture which are hugely important."
31 year old Wong, who has worked as a concept architect on key projects including Al Sharq, Isa Town Shops, Durrat Petrol station and the Al Areen Masterplan designs by the philosophy 'simple ideas, simple solutions'. Judges described Carmy's work as 'a beautiful tropical island placed in the desert.'
Carmy commented: "Bahrain is my first overseas home and I feel winning this award has made my stay in a new culture a valuable experience. Gaining this recognition is very precious to me."
Originally from Singapore, Carmy promotes an exotic oriental twist to conventional Arabian design themes and is keen to maximize the use of a building to the outdoors and reconnect people with the natural environment.
Middle East Architect Awards results
Winner: Young Architect - Carmy Wong
Winner: Architect of the year - Nick Bailey
Shortlisted: Young Architect - Loubna Al Zalek
Shortlisted: Best completed project - BWTC
Shortlisted: Best Engineering firm of the year
* Winner of the Future Architecture Awards MIPIM 2007 and Winner of the CNBC Arabia Property Awards 2007