Middle East Architect of the Year Salim Hussain spoke on how building design should be connected to its immediate environment and not stand alone at the DesignMENA Summit which explored the future of the industry.
“There could be an old Roman road running through a site which is not immediately obvious to anyone without the use of a historical map,” he said. “But f that is part of the site than it can be something that is reflected in a design.”
Hussain used the example of the Sydney Opera House with its billowing sail like roof as an example of how a structure can reflect its surroundings.
He said: “I think it’s very important that we as architects need to respond to the place not to our assumptions. We need to look at where we are and respond to where we are.
“The past can be used as a starting point… we can take from it, learn from it for our future aspirations. Dubai Creek Golf Club is a beautiful blend of modern design as well as culture. At the same time it’s a wonderful space and uses modern technology.
“We need to be inspired by the place, and that’s my belief…there are ways to look for ways to inspire ourselves. We have our roots in the past…we need to understand where we come from. A tree is above ground, but its roots spread very far. So whatever is above ground is always supported by what is below ground, by its roots.”