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AD TOP 50 – The Middle East Brightest Talents In Design And Architecture - Hommes Studio

AD TOP 50 – The Middle East Brightest Talents In Design And Architecture

From the new members to the great masters, these are the AD Top 50 talents that shine the most in the Middle East.

Architectural Digest elected the top 50 interior designers and architects in the Middle East. No list is held in higher esteem in the world of design and architecture than in the AD50. This article shows the most stylish, fabulous, and innovative interior designers and architects from AD Top 50 in the Middle East.

Agata Kurzela Studio – Dubai

AD Top 50 Poland-born Agata Kurzela launched her studio in 2020 and has over 20 projects on the go. Some of them in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and France. These include hotels, restaurants, and beach pavilions for a villa in Abu Dhabi.

Kurzela champions craftsmanship, emerging technologies, and computational design. The Shadow Box installation for Dubai Design Week 2020 showcased her keen eye for materials, lending a dynamic newness to familiar design elements.

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AGi Architects – Kuwait City, Madrid

AGi architects is an international architecture studio founded in 2006 by two architects trained at Harvard University, Joaquín Pérez-Goicoechea and Nasser B. Abulhasan.  AGi architects offer a professional service committed to quality, creativity, and exclusive design to create environments that provide differential value over time. 

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Alongside private villas, malls, and hybrid developments in Kuwait, the studio recently completed 18 archaeological sites in Galicia, Spain, restoring lost native vegetation into a ‘natural museum.’

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Aline Asmar d’Amman – Beirut, Paris

The Beirut-born designer views architecture as a source of beauty and is influenced by art and fashion. She founded her studio Culture in Architecture in 2011.

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Asmar d’Amman’s designs focus on craftsmanship and connect the past with the present in a meaningful way. New projects include the Rosewood Venice hotel, opening in 2023 in the 15th-century Palazzo Dona Giovanelli. Asmar d’Amman is restoring its opulent interiors and adding a contemporary twist.

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Aljoud Lootah – Dubai

Aljoud Lootah is an Emirati designer who has gained international acclaim, particularly after establishing her studio in 2014. Since its foundation, the studio has preserved its unique approach by focusing on contrasts in form and function while distinctly interpreting the Emirati culture and artisanal techniques through contemporary design.

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Modern interpretations of Islamic heritage are a recurring theme for Lootah, as with her new Takya stools, based on traditional low seating.

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AMA– Dubai, Hong Kong

AMA is a design studio delivering high-quality, contemporary design for building projects. Innovation is a passion: the studio uses emerging technologies in its designs, including 3D-printed components.

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MA has been building its work internationally since 2014 and has several active sites around the world. They have recent experience delivering major residential and public projects for Emaar, Meraas, The Dubai Future Foundation, Al Ghurair, and various private clients.

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Ammar Basheir – Manama

Trained in London, Basheir is now a champion of Bahraini craftsmanship. He has worked extensively with Sheikha Mai, President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture & Antiquities, on global event installations.

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Basheir realized that design could be a powerful tool to bridge cultures and expose diverse audiences to Bahraini craftsmanship. He began traveling with Sheikha Mai to create installations and kiosks for Bahrain at the Frankfurt and London book fairs. Sheikha Mai challenged him to grow as a designer and develop innovative ideas that meet the highest standards.

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Anarchitect – Dubai, London

British architect Jonathan Ashmore founded the studio in Dubai in 2013 and prioritized form, function, and refined design details. Anarchitect’s timeless style is on show at the Al Faya Desert Retreat and Spa in Sharjah, a re-imagination of a 1960s building.

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ANARCHITECT is multiple award-winning architecture, Interior Architecture, and Design practice based in Dubai and London, specializing in delivering bespoke projects for design-driven private and corporate clients globally.

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Azaz Architects – Riyadh, Madrid

Azaz Architects is a multiple international award-winning boutique architecture and design services firm based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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Established in 2017, the company has received international recognition for its practice. The projects completed are illustrative to the innovative team behind them. Through a strong commitment to providing sustainable solutions while paying great attention to detail, Azaz Architects has grown to become a highly reputable firm.

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Binchy and Binchy – Dubai, London

Design director Jennie Binchy creates buildings that are in harmony with their environment. Trained at London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, she opened her studio in 2015.

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Binchy’s polished, contemporary style is evident at Dubai restaurant Trouvaille, with its French-Arabic-inspired, tile-and-copper interior. Binchy and Binchy is a contemporary design practice. They specialize in architecture and complex interiors projects.

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Bone – Dubai

Founded in 2018 by Achraf Mzily and Natalie Mahakian, up-and-coming studio Bone creates everything from coffee bars to homes and landscape designs. The duo seeks to ‘eliminate excess,’ focusing instead on earthy materials, multipurpose spaces, and simplicity.

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The approach breaks away from the expected and perceived function. They aim to design novel spaces that can functionally and aesthetically serve different purposes – reinterpreting the way common spaces are defined.

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Brand Creative – Dubai

Led by creative director Carla Conte, this studio creates immersive experiences, from impactful interiors to unique brand identities. Brand Creative’s portfolio includes fashion boutiques, cafes, spas, and homes; it collaborates with artists and original thinkers.

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Dubai Mall houses a new store design for skincare brand Izil. Its white tadelakt interior is inspired by the homes of Morocco’s Amazigh tribe. Conte is also developing her concept hotel, Morox, in Ifrane, Morocco.

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Carl Gerges Architects – Beirut

Already an accomplished musician, Carl Gerges is one of architecture’s most exciting new names, opening his studio in 2020. Harmony is vital to Gerges, both with nature and with the past. His designs strive to be at one with their surroundings.

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 Villa Chams in Baalbek, Lebanon, is a modern-day temple. The house’s stone and concrete structure embrace its mountainous surroundings with minimal impact on the landscape.

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Cebra – Abu Dhabi, Aarhus

Cebra is a Danish architectural office founded in 2001 by the architects and founding partners Mikkel Frost, Carsten Primdahl, and Kolja Nielsen. In April 2017, architect Mikkel Hallundbæk Schlesinger became the fourth partner.

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The Al Musallah prayer hall, adjacent to Abu Dhabi’s historic Qasr Al Hosn Fort, is a cave-like structure surrounded by a contemporary park with jagged, rock-like forms.

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David/Nicolas – Beirut

David Raffoul and Nicolas Moussallem have established a global presence since they set up their studio, David/Nicolas, in Beirut in 2011. Their interdisciplinary approach to their retro-futurist design aesthetic has staged several exhibitions and collaborated with established international brands.

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Recent projects include Verso, a hybrid seating/storage collection in velvet and oak for Pierre Frey, and Glyph, a graphic, hand-embroidered wallcovering for de Gournay.

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Dori Hitti Architects – Beirut

It takes know-how, skill, and natural talent to offer remarkable and unparalleled style. Dori Hitti Architects is a pioneer architecture firm in this field. They are specialized in bringing opulence and perfection to all areas of interior and exterior design.

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As well as residences in Riyadh, Beirut, and Paris, Hitti is creating a penthouse for Dubai’s Platinum Tower; and architecture, interiors, and landscapes for the Pearl Qatar, a new residential island Doha.

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F&R Partnership – Cairo

Husband-and-wife duo Ahmad Fayyad and Malak Rashad established their studio in 2010. They design both residential and commercial buildings, focusing on wellness, positive energy, and indoor-outdoor living.

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The AD Top 50 couple describes their aesthetic as minimalist. Their Maadi Villa, an adaptation of a 1950s building, is as pure and serene as a Mondrian painting. Projects under construction include El Condos in Cairo, a high-quality, affordable housing project, and a modern mosque rendition.

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Fadi Sarieddine – Dubai

Founded in 2013 by the Dubai-based Lebanese architect Fadi Sarieddine, the multidisciplinary atelier is dedicated to designing across a wide spectrum of scale, media, and context.

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Continually challenging traditional design and examining it through new materials, applications, and technologies, Sarieddine’s experimental approach to design is the springboard. The studio explores the intersections of art, architecture, interiors, and product design.

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Foster + Partners – Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London

Foster + Partners is a global studio for sustainable architecture, engineering, urbanism, and industrial design, founded by Norman Foster in 1967. Since then, he, and the team around him, have established an international practice with a worldwide reputation.

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Foster + Partners is masterminding a brand new city south of Kuwait. South Sabah Al-Ahmad City will be home to 280,000 people when completed in 2040.

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Gatserelia – Beirut, Milan

Founded in 1985 by brothers Gregory and Alexander Gatserelia, Gatserelia Design has grown to be synonymous with functionality, fantasy, innovation, and sustainability.

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A recent highlight is the Dubai outpost of restaurant L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (with two more to follow later this year, in Marrakech and Cyprus). It features an outdoor room with oversized chandeliers and a spectacular open kitchen.

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Grimshaw – Dubai, London, New York, Paris, Sydney

The Grimshaw studio, one of the AD Top 50, was founded in 1980 on analysis and exploration. They relish the challenges inherent across a wide range of work, engaging their expertise and agility to deliver a lasting, meaningful design that brings value and joy to their clients and users.

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Its complex structure draws inspiration from natural processes like photosynthesis, servicing the pavilion by capturing energy from sunlight and freshwater from humid air. 

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H2R Design – Dubai, London

A multi-award-winning London and Dubai-based design firm founded by Hasan and Husain Roomi is one AD Top 50. A pair of young, dynamic UK-born brothers with a Middle Eastern background. Supported by a team with broad global experience, H2R Design maintains a diverse commercial portfolio with primary focuses in the hospitality, F&B, and retail sectors.

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Dubai’s hip Rove at the Park hotel is the setting for their latest project, which features a mosaic-tiled bar and themed lounge areas to encourage socializing. Dessert café Chunk in Riyadh is another recent project, with a modern, minimal design in black, white, and neutrals.

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Hany Saad Innovations – Cairo

Since 2003, Hany Saad Innovations has completed more than 800 projects across Africa and the Middle East ranging from private residential villas to multi-use commercial projects, clubs, hotels, shopping malls, administrative buildings, and ultra-luxurious residential compounds.  

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Saad is designing the Garden 8 Mall, a retail complex inspired by the sinuous infinity symbol as part of New Cairo’s regeneration. It also incorporates lush contemporary gardens.

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Hozan Zangana – Amsterdam

AD Top 50 Iraq-born Zangana studied at Amsterdam’s Gerrit Rietveld Academie and Design Academy Eindhoven. His sculptural designs are shaped from intuition. 

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His sculptural objects marry material exploration with languid forms. At Amsterdam’s Tropen Museum, the designer’s next exhibition is inspired by Kurdistan’s Sinjar mountains, which sheltered the Yazidi people escaping ISIS.

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Lrnce – Marrakesh

Belgian-born artist Laurence Leenaert is one of the design world’s brightest stars, and it is in the AD Top 50. LRNCE is a Marrakesh-based lifestyle brand focusing on interior decoration and accessories.

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In 2013, Belgian sun chaser Laurence Leenaert revised materials’ purpose and spontaneously combined elements to create uniquely designed pieces.

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LW Design – Dubai, Denmark, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo

Founded in 1999, LW Design’s award-winning hotels, bars, and restaurants span Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, and Europe. Headquartered in Dubai, it has created some of the region’s most highly-anticipated projects, including the Dubai Edition. 

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A mastery of finishes defines the studio’s approach. In 2020, LW Design completed Abu Dhabi’s latest Indian restaurant Zeera, using light woods, vibrant textiles, and a complementary mix of marbles and metallics.

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Majed Harasani – Jeddah

A design by Majed Harasani is an industry-leading example of excellence. Architecture is born of an innovative mind, a thirst for quality, and a passion for the craft.

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Their bold concepts, proven delivery methods, and passion for fine detail has drawn commissions from day one. Their specialist studio will quickly gain a deep understanding of the client’s project’s potential. By nature, they expect to produce the very best for their clients.

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Nabil Dada – Beirut

Founder of Dada & Associates, Nabil Dada has earned a reputation for bringing together varying styles, periods, and cultures. His latest project, family home with expansive views of Jounieh Bay in Beirut, illustrates his highly sought-after cross-cultural fluency, defined interiors in Europe, the Middle East, and China.

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 While Dada has always designed unique pieces for his projects, he is looking forward to developing his first stand-alone furniture collection with his son Tarek.

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Nada Debs – Beirut, Dubai

Nada Debs is a Lebanese designer living and working in Beirut. Her work spans scale and discipline: from product and furniture design to one-off commissions across craft, art, fashion, and interiors. 

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What connects her world is a belief in the power of design to cross time and border and touch us on a primal level. She believes not just in form and function but in feeling too. Nada believes in the importance of human stories.

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Niu – Dubai

Niu is a Dubai-based architecture and interior design consultancy founded in 2001. They create and deliver projects in the residential, commercial, and retail sectors in the UAE and around the world. The studio aims to bring the principles of Italian craftsmanship to every aspect of their work.

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Omar Nakkash – Dubai

NAKKASH Design Studio is a multidisciplinary architecture and design practice based in Dubai. They focus on the human element of every project, allowing each space we create to dictate its own identity and purpose seamlessly.

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Nakkash is currently working on several projects that illustrate the studio’s human-centered approach, including the Amzan Café & Bookstore in Sharjah and two residential projects in Dubai’s prestigious Al Khawaneej neighborhood.

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Pace – Kuwait City

Founded in 1968, Pace Kuwait is one of the region’s leading design practices with a 700-strong team united by a vision to make the world a better place. Its growth goes hand-in-hand with the development of Kuwait City as the studio continues to work on ground-breaking architecture and urban projects in the Gulf nation and around the GCC.

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Paul Bishop – Dubai

Bishop Design by Paul Bishop is an international multi-award-winning interior design firm based in Dubai, expanding to Miami underway for 2020. Founded by Paul Bishop in 2004, their talented team of professionals has created ground-breaking interiors across the region and globally.

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An excellent portfolio of Commercial, Hospitality, Retail, and Residential projects has been secured through recommendation, referral, and repeat business.

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Qeblawi Brooks – Dubai

Fouad Qeblawi and Daniel Brooks create unique and exceptional residential and commercial projects. Founded in 2015, their studio blurs boundaries between architecture, interiors, and landscaping, a vision for well-being reaffirmed by the global pandemic.

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 More than ever, they are focused on creating spaces that offer emotional and physical sustenance. The studio’s latest villa in Dubai is a sleek, contemporary structure filled with natural light and appointed with fine, natural materials.

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Rabih Geha – Beirut

Rabih Geha Architects is a team of architects and designers working together to create spaces that inspire. Led by Rabih Geha, the award-winning practice works on various projects that include architecture, interiors, product design, and experimental installations.

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Based in the creative heart of Lebanon, the practice was founded in 2006, and Geha’s authenticity remains at the forefront. Each project retains an individual identity based on the stories it has to tell and is built with meaning, relevance, and passion.

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Richard Yasmine – Beirut

Richard Yasmine is a Lebanese interior architect and product designer filled with imagination. He uses his imaginary world as a simulation to try out new ideas and create new objects inspired by life, objects, and emotions.

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Sometimes extreme and provocative or even not expected by others but still minimal, bold, and straightforward without disguising or hiding true reality. He never tends to identify the difference between reality and imagination. This helps him create intriguing and controversial design objects yet complicated in production; however, this is distinctive in his personality.

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Roar – Dubai

2020 saw several successes for ROAR studio. Its founder, Pallavi Dean, was named ‘Designer of the Year’ at the inaugural AD Design Awards, and the studio’s white papers exploring design’s changing landscape garnered international interest.

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 An early advocate of biophilic design, many of its projects borrow from nature: the SensAsia spa, for instance, draws color and texture from an earthy palette. The studio is working on an innovative prefab hotel in Abu Dhabi and adding to Sharjah’s well-considered restoration projects.

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Saccal Design House – Beirut, Kuwait City

Saccal Design House, located in Beirut, Lebanon, was founded in 2014 by two sisters Nour and Maysa Saccal. The company provides interior design and architecture services as well as product design. In 2018, they opened a branch in Kuwait city. Saccal Design House aims to evoke emotion and instill a sense of curiosity and vagueness explored at different scales.

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Sahel Al Hiyari – Amman

Sahel Al Hiyari a Jordanian architect, the principal at Sahel Al Hiyari Architects. Sahel Al Hiyari Architects ‐ SHA is an award-winning, design‐driven Amman‐based architectural practice led by principal architect Sahel Al Hiyari.

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The firm’s work covers a wide spectrum of design-related disciplines ranging from urban design, interior, and furniture design, to architectural installations and exhibition design.

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Sayar & Garibeh – Beirut

Stephanie Sayar and Charbel Garibeh set up their studio in 2015. Following a successful design fair run, the duo fast gained international interest with their happy, anthropomorphic objects.

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 Staying true to their experimental nature and rebuilding in the aftermath of the Beirut explosion, the pandemic, and a resource shortage, Sayar, and Garibeh work with local artisans to create new work. The duo is working on an interior project in the Lebanese capital filled with bespoke pieces tailor-made to their environment.

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Shaikha Al-Sulaiti -Doha

With a decade-strong experience working on high-end projects, in 2018, Al-Sulaiti founded Designer Studio, a Doha-based creative practice specializing in luxury residential and hospitality interiors.

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 Alongside steering her practice, Al-Sulaiti also serves as Senior Interior Design Manager at Msheireb Properties, overseeing the realization of Doha Design District, a purpose-built creative hub in the heart of Qatar’s capital that aims to accelerate the country’s creative economy.

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Shaun Killa – Dubai

Killa Design is an award-winning architectural firm that creates innovative buildings and design solutions that are environmentally sustainable, challenges architectural norms, and bespoke clients.

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In addition to developing a new resort by the Red Sea, Saudi Arabia, the studio’s most anticipated work, the Museum of The Future, which is slated to open this year, is already a global landmark.

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Sibyl Design Studio – Riyadh, Jeddah

Founded in 2016 by two Saudi female architects, Meaad Hanafi and Rahaf Al-Muzaini, the multidisciplinary studio is driven by their passion for challenging the status quo – both cultural and urban – with a carefully considered, humane approach to design.

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 The duo offers holistic solutions – from architecture and interior design to brand identity – elevating the user experience. The studio is currently working on various retail, wellness, and private residential projects in KSA.

Studio Toggle – Kuwait City, Porto

Studio Toggle was established in 2011 by Architects Hend Almatrouk and Gijo Paul George during their graduate studies at the Universität für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna.

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Their expertise ranges from public-sector, commercial, residential, and hospitality architecture to interior design. In the short span of 6 years, Studio Toggle has grown to 15 highly dedicated professionals based in Kuwait and Portugal.

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T Sakhi – Beirut, Venice

Lebanese-Polish sisters Tessa and Tara Sakhi seek to marry occidental-oriental inspiration with the human condition to deliver emotionally rich experiences and objects. The duo collaborates with creatives and artists from diverse cultures, provoking innovation and greater understanding.

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 Combining Venetian Murano glass with recycled metal threads and powder, their latest tableware collection celebrates the cultural similarities between two Mediterranean regions: Lebanon and Italy.

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Tariq Khayyat – Dubai

Tariq Khayyat Design Partners was founded in 2018 as a bespoke design-led practice providing architectural and design solutions to clients and communities.

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The practice offers dynamic, innovative, and practical designs combining research, pioneering solutions, and market needs. TKDP is driven by the ambition to achieve excellence, exclusivity, and the highest level of quality. 

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Vera Dieckmann – Dubai, Hong Kong

Dieckmann established XO Atelier in 2018 to combine her passion for interior design with art and product creation. Her product development projects include collaborations with leading makers such as Preciosa, Nemo, and TecnoSpa, for whom she has designed an adaptive workspace solution.

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 Dieckmann’s ability to marry interiors with artistic gestures is evident at Dubai’s latest hotspot, The Grey café, where a namesake ombré palette is injected with rippling gold and silver.

Walid Sfeir & Associates – Beirut

Sfeir established his design studio in 1995, and in 2006 his sister Gina joined him, bringing with her a wealth of experience in antiques and furniture. The studio creates luxurious spaces with unique furnishings, artworks, and fine details that effortlessly bridge cultures and time.

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 The duo is currently working on a Parisian residence; looking out to the Jardin des Champs-Élysées, the project is a nuanced mix of contemporary and French classical influences.

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X Architects – Dubai

X Architects is a critical architectural studio founded in 2003 by principal architects Ahmed Al-Ali and Farid Esmaeil. Both principals are strong proponents of Arab Culture and its translation into contemporary design.

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X Architects believes in design as a process. They research into creating a built environment that is adaptive and contextual. They see architecture as a language that speaks of the place.

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Yasmina Makram – Cairo

Yasmina Makram Studios is based in Cairo, Egypt; Yasmina Makram Studios specializes in elegant designs, addressed as a refined artful expression. As she recounts: “Our work is wide-ranging, yet always mid-century modern in sensibility.” 

YMS prides itself in its youthful and progressive multidisciplinary team, which manages spaces to create inventive forms of interior design.

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ZAV Architects – Tehran

Founded in 2006, the studio strives to redefine the role of an architectural practice beyond pre-defined limits of functional or aesthetic influence to having socio-political and economic-cultural agency. ZAV’s method involves eviscerating the underlying principles of western modernity and contextualizing them to one’s cultural circumstances.

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 In this process, materials and construction techniques are re-invented, recycled, or up-cycled. ‘Presence in Hormuz,’ the multi-colored colony of earthen domes off the west coast of Iran, is a bright and bold manifestation of ZAV Architects’ unique brand of design activism.

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We really hope you liked our article and the interior’s suggestions. Feel free to pin all the images to your favorite Pinterest board or to print it and use it on your projects’ mood boards. Meanwhile, you can also visit our Pinterest boards in order to get more inspirations.

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