MEA POWER 50 AWARDS
In its December 2012 issue Architect Magazine named U+A one of the most influential design firms on regional architecture.
Pedram Rad and Martin Dufresne as founders and partners at U+A Architects, were illustrated as holding the 39th place among GCC’s most influential architects among other world class architects such as Sir Norman Foster and Zaha Hadid.
This article is a brief on their personal work experiences along with their joint collaborations and achievements under one roof as U+A Architects.
Rad and Dufresne are the founder and partners at U+A Architects, a practice established in 2006 with offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Jeddah. The pair met while ast RMJM, a period in which Dufresne played an integral role on the leaning Capital Gate tower in Abu Dhabi.
Dufresne graduated from the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism in Canada in the mid 90s before relocating to Hong Kong where he acquired large-scale projects design expertise with HOK Asia Pacific for seven years.
He subsequently worked in Singapore for three years as senior design architect with Kerry Hill Architects before moving to RMJM in 2005. The design for Capital Gate was conceived after his observations of the tower’s future context.
Rad is more of a Middle East veteran, having joined RMJM’s Dubai office in 2000 and working on projects such as Emirates Towers Expansion, Dubai Convention Center, DIFC and Dubai Tower in Doha.
In May 2006, Rad’s long awaited ambition of establishing his own firm became true when he teamed up Dufresne to launch U+A Architects Dubai in collaboration with a sister company in Toronto, Canada.
Within the first two years the office grew to over 40 architects and technologist and the completion of five large scale shopping malls mixed-used developments in the region led U+A to open a new branch office in Abu Dhabi, Doha and Jeddah.
U+A is noted for its contribution to more humble projects, such as a clinic for the government-funded organization Dubai Foundation, elegant building will soon house a clinic for women and children suffering from abuse.