“Impressive” is how the judging panel described Elie Choucair, winner of the Interior Designer of the Year award.
He was singled out for “having a great sense of style” and “having a portfolio that showed a variety of design languages which is refreshing to see”.
“This is the most rewarding day of my career, ” he said.
“When I was studying in Beirut, I used to have a French teacher that said; ‘We all work hard in life but when you work very hard and do it with a passion, following your dreams and trying to achieve goals, one day will come, when you will be rewarded and you will be able to harvest the fruits of your efforts’, today feels like that day.”
The award was created to recognise a professional, forward-thinking individual who consistently delivers original, intelligent and effective design solutions for their clients and, according to the judges, Choucair’s submittal stood out by a long way from the other nominees.
“Design is my passion, not my job,” he said. This is clearly evident in the range of projects Choucair has worked on. With over 14 years of experience spanning three continents – Europe, North America and Asia his work is as diverse as the places he’s lived in.
This talented Lebanese born interior architect started his career with GM Architects in Beirut, he relocated to Montreal, in 1999 and joined AE & Associates. Looking to build on his commercial portfolio he then joined Lemay Associes.
After nine years of practice in North America, he moved back to the Middle East, intrigued by the scale and quality of projects in the GCC. He headed to Dubai, where he joined GAJ in 2008. He was made an associate at the practice last year, recognised for his sensitive design approach and experience in detailing.
Highly commended was Marie-Noelle Swiderski of Blanchard for her ability to juggle roles with ease and yet create beautiful designs that satisfy the client.
The shortlist was Alfred Johnson, Paul Bishop, Bishop Design Associates, Elaine Monfero, BBR Design, Dinan Salaheddine, N&D Design and Hassan Sherazi, Studio Two.