Interviews

Prizewinner: Ghazi Awad, Founder and MD, GA Architects & Engineers

In recent decades, the dynamic and futuristic architectural landscape of the United Arab Emirates has become one of the hallmarks of the fast-growing country. Its incredible buildings are a vivid reflection of wealth and highlight the nation’s desire to innovate – they also provide a new perspective on comfort and luxury.

Luxury Lifestyle Awards had the privilege of speaking with one of the architects sculpting the UAE – Ghazi Awad, Founder and Managing Director of GA Architects & Engineers. This year, his company scooped Luxury Lifestyle Award’s prize for The Best Luxury Architect and Interior Design Studio in Abu Dhabi.

Luxury Lifestyle Awards: Please tell us about yourself and professional background.

Ghazi Awad: I was born in Lebanon and stayed there until I completed higher secondary education. I moved to France to study architecture at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, graduating in 1971, before getting Master’s in town planning. For the first five years of my career I designed projects in the Paris region and south of France. In 1975, I joined a reputed Lebanese architectural firm and was involved in multi-type projects in the Middle East and Gulf Region. In 1980, I established my first partnership architectural firm in Abu Dhabi, and then co-founded GA Architects & Engineers in 1993.

LLA: What influenced your decision to become an architect?

GA: An architect can make a difference – we combine art, creativity, and sophisticated science to enhance people’s lives.

LLA: What has been key to your professional success?

GA: My endless urge to keep learning is one, as well as my passion for perfection. I always want to make things better.

LLA: Can you tell us about GA Architects & Engineers and your team?

GA: GA Architects & Engineers is not just about me, it’s about the team and I am a proud member of the team, which has taken many years to build. We want each of our employees to remain and grow with us for a long time, and we have really benefitted from this philosophy – some of our architects have been with the firm for more than two decades.

LLA: How do you choose projects? What characteristics should a project have in order for you to find it interesting?

GA: The more challenging the project is, the more interesting it becomes.

LLA: What are your favourite GA Architects & Engineers projects?

GA: Actually, I have many favourite projects, but the most significant include (in no particular order): Mismak Residential Complex, Al Ain Tower, Al Bandar Rotana Hotel, Capital Center Mixed Use Complex, Ahmad Joan Al Badi Office Tower, and the Eissa Al Khaili Residential Building

LLA: How do you see architecture evolving in the next 10 years?

GA: The evolution of architecture will be increasingly be shaped by technology and sustainability.  

LLA: Your Company is a Luxury Lifestyle Awards winner, scooping The Best Luxury Architect and Interior Design Studio in Abu Dhabi. How much does this mean to you?

GA: The UAE is an iconic market that attracts multi-national and regional architectural companies, so we have lots of competition. Being recognised among so many different firms means the world.

LLA: What advice would you give to young aspiring architects?

GA: Always try to do it better and never rest until you have come as close to perfection as possible. Always have faith that hard work brings rewards, no matter how long it takes.

For more information, please visit Luxury Lifestyle Awards’ website.

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