George Efstathiou, consulting partner for Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM), was lauded as Architect of the Year at the Middle East Architect Awards 2011.
It was revealed that Efstrathiou was a clear winner, with judges almost unanimous in their verdict.
Efstrathiou commented: “I can’t even describe how I feel. This is very special to me. To be recognised as a foreign architect in a place that’s not my own country is truly an honour. I hope that I’m an architectural ambassador for the United States.”
One of Efstrathiou’s and SOM’s projects, Rolex Tower in Dubai, received the prestigious award for Best Overall Project. Other Dubai towers in his portfolio include the twisted Infinity Tower and world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa.
“I think the probability of SOM getting architecture awards is good. We don’t win every award but we often get recognised,” added Efstrathiou.
The jury remarked that Efstrathiou boasts a “prolific experience which represents a deep and thorough knowledge of the profession”.
Judges highly commended Raya Ani, from dwp, for producing work “rooted in traditional Arabic architecture”. Her towers in Abu Dhabi were described by a judge as “a strikingly beautiful response to history and the environment.”
The shortlist in the category was completed by KMA’s Alaa Mandour, Keith Gavin from GAJ and Sandra Woodall from Tangram Architects & Designers.