Tired Dubai buildings should be reused not demolished

Ageing buildings in Dubai should be renovated rather than demolished according to the CEO of award-winning architects Aukett Fitzoy Robinson.

In an interview with Middle East Architect, Nicholas Thompson stated that certain areas of Dubai are ripe for redevelopment – a specialism of the company honed from decades of experience in Europe.

He asserted: “We’ve noticed that certain areas in Dubai are looking a bit tired and we are asking what can you do with them.”

“Yes you can just repaint a building, but you can also change its use. Maybe switch a tired residential block to a modern hotel – not necessarily a five star but a more tourist type hotel.”

Thompson continued: “To us, that is sustainable architecture – reusing a frame of a building that is already there so there is no disruption to the local community.

“For a marginal cost you are bringing a building back to life. We believe that Dubai, having more buildings that would benefit from that change, is a market that we should focus on.”

Middle East director Stephen Embley pinpoints Deira as an area ripe for redevelopment.

Embley added: “It’s a wonderful area with the shops and a rich urban fabric. Maybe in some areas of Abu Dhabi that has been lost. In Deira you can rebuild the fringes as a catalyst for future developments.

“You can use traditional building methods of shading and scale but also bring in international best practice, addressing things like fire escapes and codings.”

Aukett Fitzoy Robinson, which recently won the AJ100 International Practice of the Year, has an office in Abu Dhabi and is looking to expand into Dubai.