UAE architects should draw inspiration from heritage for happier communities says EMKAAN principal

UAE architects should draw inspiration from ancient forts and architectural heritage elements to design happier buildings and communities, says Muhammad Obaid, principal architect and partner at Dubai-based architecture consultancy, EMKAAN.

Obaid says he himself draws inspiration from buildings such as the wind towers in Al Bastakiya and the Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain, which both combine elements that result in a happier space to be in.

According to Obaid, well-designed buildings promote physical activity, incorporate nature, reduce noise levels as well as the correct choice of materials.

A recent study by the University of Warwick in the UK has revealed that overall cohesion of architecture and design boost people’s health and happiness.

“A well-designed building takes into consideration the satisfaction of all five senses, and older structures provide perfect examples of this phenomenon,” Obaid says.

He adds: ‘New age architects sometimes forget to integrate ancient architectural principles to construct bigger, bolder and more ambitious projects. However, I believe that structures need to be modest, practical and most important, they must have a human element to them.”

He uses the exmaples of traditional villas in Satwa or the houses in Al Bastakiya area as examples of ‘happy’ architecture.

Obaid has also commented on how flying drone taxis will impact Dubai’s design and architecture as well as proclaiming that sustainability will be the main architectural driver of 2017.

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