P&T Group launches architectural student initiative in celebration of 150th anniversary

Jun 2019

In celebration of P&T’s 150th anniversary and 15 years in the UAE, the Group’s Dubai office has invited students at accredited architectural schools in the UAE to participate in an architectural competition sponsored by P&T. Under the theme of “Architecture that responds to the current and future needs of UAE’s built environment”, our future architects accepted the challenge to design affordable and desirable accommodation, well integrated into the UAE’s urban fabric, context and culture.

With the initiative of “giving back to the community”, P&T Group organised the P&T Architectural Student Competition in 2019 in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education and Advanced Skills, Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority and UAE Society of Engineers. The competition provides an opportunity for future architects to present their talents and develop their careers. Both design ideas and practicality in an attempt to solve real challenges are emphasised in the competition.

Speaking of the purpose of the competition, James Abbott, P&T Group Director stated, “In celebration of P&T’s 150 years anniversary and 15 years in the UAE, we are taking an initiative to reach out and support the local universities and their students by sponsoring a design competition that we hope will have educational benefits and possibly if successful future community benefits”. The statement was further reflected upon by Stephan Frantzen, Design Director at P&T, adding that “The competition gives students in the UAE a chance to take an active part in the discussion about how to improve urban spaces between buildings and how we live in high-rise buildings. The topics are important in the UAE and they are universal in our ever growing cities”.

 James Abbott, P&T Group Director at the Award Ceremony

Students are challenged to present architectural designs that respond to the current and future needs of UAE’s built environment, while being affordable and desirable to accommodate young UAE professionals. Participants are to propose solutions that can well integrate into the UAE’s urban fabric on the currently disconnected sites along Sheikh Zayed Road SZR. Designs should provide innovative ways to connect the tower at street level with cars, taxis, buses and pedestrians, as well as at a higher level with the elevated Metro Stations and neighbouring towers.

Participants were also encouraged to demonstrate how the design idea can be adapted at a sustainable pace to meet clean energy goals set by the UAE for the 2050, and consider the importance of the 4th dimension of time in the design. Innovation was highly encouraged under the condition that the ideas are realistic, functional, based on currently known technologies, and respects cultural norms of the UAE.

Winning Entries of the Competition

Entries were presented to a jury panel of experts consisting of highly experienced architects within P&T and guest professionals from the Society of Engineers, the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority, and the Royal Institute of British Architects Gulf Chapter, to ensure fair and diverse perspectives in the evaluation process. Designs were judged upon 5 pillars including form, innovation, environmental and sustainable solutions, and presentations.
The competition received excellent responses, 44 proposals were submitted from Al Ghurair University, Canadian University of Dubai, Sharjah University and Ajman University. In April 2019, 2 winners and 8 honourable mentions were announced to award their innovative designs.

Winners of the Competition at the Award Ceremony, together with Saif Al Mazroui, Advisor of His Excellency Minister of Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Andrij Rostek, P&T Group Director