The increased emphasis on design promoting interconnectivity and creating public spaces in Dubai shows the way forward for architecture, says Lucas Martinez of Perkins + Will.
The 28-year-old from the town of Logrono, in northern Spain, says his favourite local development is City Walk, with its wide promenades, cafes, water features and shops.
“There are plenty of landmarks in Dubai and the city has achieved worldwide recognition for them,” he says. “One building can change a city – one building can give a city a unique identity.
“But now the feeling seems to be in Dubai, let’s design for people. City Walk is a project which I worked on and the strategy was ‘let’s create a place with atmosphere. Let’s make it a social realm with the focus on the outdoors’.
“That is the way to provide spaces where people can interact. A lot of projects now consider this more than ever before. To me, this is a new vision for architecture in the region.
“City Walk has a very European feel about it, in my mind. The corridors between buildings create a totally different atmosphere to that of an enclosed space”
Immersing oneself in local culture is a key to successful design, says Martinez.
“Know the people and know their way of life, understand their social heritage and then you can best approach a project,” he says.
“This is especially important when you are working in a different culture, as I am. In Dubai there are so many opportunities. You see projects here which are unlike any in the world. It’s the best place for an architect to develop both his or her career, personality and vision.”