Noha Jaheen. Image by Rajesh Raghav
ITP Images
Noha Jaheen. Image by Rajesh Raghav

Egyptian architect Noha Jaheen launches Dubai studio and announces proposal for 'Notre Dame Diamond'

Egyptian architect and academic Noha Jaheen has launched her own practice, Jaheen’s Design and Creative, in Dubai Design District.

Integrating three elements including cultural, intellectual and green building forms (each of which has its own department within the company’s structure), Jaheen’s Design and Creative aims to deliver public buildings and landscape designs that adapt design elements and tools of the past for the present and future.

“We built Jaheen’s upon a vision,” said Jaheen. “To design your sustainable future, you need to first recognise your sustainable past, and we translate that into a mission of redefining architecture. The point here is to grab all the sustainable tools of the past and use them to grow the future and create buildings that are in harmony with their environment.”

Having only launched a few months ago – previously, Jaheen worked as a researcher at various universities around the UAE – Jaheen has announced her proposal for what she calls the ‘Notre Dame Diamond’, a project she hopes will be a collaborative effort with different cultural entities around the country, such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi and UNESCO.

Employing her ‘Modern Antique Technique’, which falls under the company’s department of art and heritage and which aims to revive old building techniques and adapt them for the present, Jaheen hopes to create a modernised gothic form for the church’s reconstruction following a fire that collapsed its spire in April 2019.

“We believe that we need a new path for gothic architecture,” she said. “Behind each problem, there is an opportunity. The opportunity here is not about what Jaheen’s will build alone, but about what we can build together. This is our intention and hope from the UAE to the world.”

While Jaheen said her and her team would need to visit the Notre Dame site in order to develop a concrete design concept for the reconstruction, she intends to propose innovative materials that respect the heritage of the site while reflecting the present.

In addition to the Notre Dame Diamond, Jaheen also recently published a paper in February 2019 in cooperation with the British University in Dubai on green building in the emirate and its new regulations. She is currently working on another project focused solely on material innovation.