Page 51 - Simply Abu Dhabi Magazine VI

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S I M P LY A B U DH A B I
For Ali, the incredible architectural opportunities created by the modern
availability of materials are something of a double-edged sword:
“I believe architecture is changing and it is changing too fast,” he warns. “It is
the most exciting age to be building in thanks to the abundance of materials
available to facilitate the process. It is exactly for that same reason that we have
to be more responsible in what we are putting out.”
The idea of a quick fix is anathema to Ali Reda. He believes that good
architecture should last, and that it should consider the wider effect it will
have on its location:
“I don’t think every building has to be a monument for posterity but we have
a duty to create buildings that will last,” he says. “This is where speed and
consideration must come into play. I think there should be an arbitrary body
that always keeps in mind the best interest of the urban fabric. Someone has
to regulate that flow. In my experience, we work best as architects when we
have more constraints placed on us. That is how we rise to the challenge.”
Something of a quiet iconoclast, Ali Reda is happy to reconsider our most
fundamental assumptions about building design if that is where his reasoning
takes him:
“The main paradox is that humans never wanted to be housed in rooms or
enclosed in four walls,” he says. “They would do much better in the
outdoors.”
He explains that a desire to revolutionise the way people interact with their
surroundings is always at the heart of what he does:
“That same paradox brings you to the issue of in-between spaces, a seamless
fusion between outdoors and indoors,” he says.
And what ultimately drives him is a belief in the importance of structures
which are experienced rather than simply admired:
“I want people to take what they want frommy projects,” he says. “I always
say that our architecture needs to be experienced. Our process works from
inside out, we experience the project as we design it. That is why we focus
on subtleties.”
One of the most exciting projects carried out by a r + d was on Raha
Gardens Abu Dhabi: the firm were retained by Aldar to conceptualise and
design the whole of the Gardens. a r + d were able to create a point of
difference in the architecture by introducing a concept of naturally evolving
village environments. This ideal was further enhanced by breaking the
development down into smaller communities interspaced with a business
district, market areas, a polo club and schools. Green space was maximized
to emphasis the garden theme.
The homes, ranging from spacious 3-bedroom townhouses to luxurious 5-
bedroom villas, echo a traditional arabesque design and feel, with slick
contemporary specifications offering the homeowner every modern
convenience. Adding to these factors, the development of prestigious
schools, shops, parks and a variety of indoor and outdoor sporting and health
club facilities in the area has made Al Raha Gardens a residential destination
of choice. The result is sleek, sophisticated, stunning and stylish.
We at Simply Abu Dhabi Holdings will be looking to have our own HQ
offices designed soon, and we now know whom to go to for design and
implementation! We wish Ali Reda and his team the best of luck for the
future.
For more information on these architectural experts, visit them online at: