Adham Magid, Architecture, GCC Architects, La casa, Mixed-use projects

La Casa’s senior design architect, Adham Magid, discusses a luxury mixed-use project in the GCC

La Casa’s senior design architect, Adham Magid, discusses his architecture studies in Alexandria, Egypt and relocating to the UAE to work with NAGA Architects and now La Casa. Up next? A mixed-use project in the GCC that combines retail with luxury living.

Tell us about yourself.
I am from Alexandria, Egypt, and I studied architecture at Alexandria University’s Faculty of  Fine Arts. After I graduated in 2010, I started my career as an engineer of design in my home city and worked for Omran, a Saudi architecture company that had branches across the region. I worked in Alexandria for three years, but because the situation in Egypt was unstable, most of the projects I worked on were in Saudi Arabia. In 2013, I moved to Dubai to work with NAGA Architects before joining La Casa.

What kind of projects do you work on?
I’ve worked on many different projects, but most of them have been mixed-use, office and commercial projects.

When did you join La Casa?
I joined La Casa in 2015 as a senior design architect and in the time since, I’ve worked mostly on mixed-use projects that require retail spaces. Many of my projects have been here in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and other parts of the GCC.

What’s your approach to projects?
When I take on a new project, the first thing I have to know is what the developer is looking for and what the client needs from the project. And then I have to direct my research and thinking to create a design solution that uses that information accordingly. Then I analyse the site area and try to think of an efficient way of using the plot that’s within the client’s budget – after all this is considered, I can finally start working on my sketches.

Is there an architectural style that you’re most fond of?
Well I like many architects and many different styles. One of my favourites is Zaha Hadid, but her style doesn’t always work. I think it’s best for cultural projects or landmark buildings but it doesn’t suit residential projects.

What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a mixed-use project that will span 70,000m2. The client had requested a mini-mall that contains a ground floor or mezzanine and then as you move upward, luxurious residential two and three-bedroom units. This project was challenging because the plot is very limited by the views, so I had to direct all of the apartments to the plot’s main view which created a new challenge – providing privacy for the tenants. So we separated the entrances to achieve this.

This means that the entrance to the retail is separate from the entrances to the residential buildings, all of which are G+8. Secondly, high-end residential buildings usually contain social facilities like pools, gyms, saunas, and so on, so rather than place these on the ground floor, I placed them on the rooftops and designed a sky bridge that connects all of the buildings together.

This project is in the schematic stage, but so far the client is very pleased with the design.