LACASA unveils student competition to design school for Palestine

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The chance for a student architect to design a school and see the project through to its construction is the latest innovative idea from LACASA Architects and Engineering Consultants.

The company has launched a competition open to all young designers in the UAE to give them the opportunity to put together a concept and see it through to the reality of bricks and mortar on the ground.

Working alongside universities and Middle East Architect the end result will see a school built in Palestine – adding to the educational opportunities of children in the country and boosting employment prospects for the local workers who will build the facility.

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“Since I started working at the company I have wanted to do something like this,” said LACASA communications manager, Ayman Jaber.

“The aim is to allow for a greater focus on creativity and allow someone to see a project through from start to finish.

“Students learn the theories of the profession when they attend university. But here we are offering the chance to go from A to Z on a project. From the initial drawings all the way to the practical work which takes place on site.”

The competition is to design a school to be built in the city of Ramallah. It will be open to senior students in the UAE with those who wish to take part being able to register their interests at the official opening which is scheduled for next month. The winning designs will be showcased both in the media and during events before a winner is chosen.

That person will then be offered a placement with the company – and part of their job will be to see the design they created made into a reality.

Jaber said: “The students will be able to see the building they have visualised come to life. We want to attract those people who have come into architecture for a reason – those who want to put their fingerprints on the skyline of a city.

“This is their chance to bring their sketches to life.” The company said it is also a way of benefitting people in Palestine with a boost to the local economy and educational facilities.

“The project will bring jobs to the city as well as give the opportunity for students to get a high end education when it is completed,” said Jaber. “At the moment we are seeing a number of families of Palestinian origin moving back to their homeland and they want the same standard of education for their children as they would have been able to obtain in the USA, or wherever else it is they originally came from.

“So we are aiming for two benefits to the region – and of course we are looking to develop the energy, talent and vision of the students in the UAE. That is our vision at LACASA and part of the social responsibility we feel as architects.”

The launch of the competition is set for April.

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