In a conversation with engineer Tariq Al-Zaharneh, he immersed himself in the philosophy of architecture, which translates human needs, enriches values and behaviors, and invests in life, according to him. Zaharna, of Palestinian origin and Luxembourg identity, aims to achieve a contemporary architectural language in the region.
In the following dialogue he writes with “Madam”, he remembers his first visit to Dubai, the feeling that pushed him to stay in the city, as well as his childhood days in Luxembourg …
When did you first come to Dubai? Has there been any special occasion that changed your plans and pushed you to stay?
You arrived in Dubai in 2009; I then saw that architecture is likely to contribute mainly to the development of the city, and of the UAE in general, and I also felt that architects are able to direct those scattered moments of architecture in their urban environments and t ‘place them in the context of Dubai, as part of a collective effort, to address the nature of the urban fabric desert and housing people. Perhaps this is one of the ways the built environment affects the way we think, feel, act and talk about it now.The importance of architecture is infinite. These are the ideas and concepts that have kept me in Dubai for about a decade, and have pioneered the way I work as a team at T.ZED Architects which I founded in 2015 according to her, with architecture and design, with the ultimate goal to Achieve a contemporary architectural language in the region through investigative research and design that creates dynamic architecture.
How has Dubai changed since then in terms of architecture and design?
Dubai has certainly changed since I came … Is there a stronger awareness of architecture, with a sense of how it affects users? How do they react to various interventions within the city? A construction industry that invests for a lifetime, stands the test of time, adapts and defends the contextual language of design – these are all points of our approach, with the team working at the Company to contribute to the development of Dubai and this country in general . .
Your name is known along with several other architects, under the title “Dubai Builders”; How important is this to you?
I prefer the term “Dubai Trainers” or “Architects” … In practice, I see that we (along with the team) are deeply rooted in the design and construction process, considering the materiality, the program and the details, while we are in heart of the identity and purpose of each project. Skilled and professional approach is not limited to the scale or function of the project, but applies pure architectural thinking to each building and interior design, as well as urban intervention and plot design, where each project is driven by research. I also like to believe that our customer relationship is an opportunity for a new and deep dialogue about design and architectural structures.
What do you remember from the city of Luxembourg, where you grew up?
Experimentation, passion and fun while building tree houses, in childhood, in addition to contact with European countries and the ability to learn and discover diversity in architecture and design.
Tell us more about your philosophy of architecture and interior design?
My philosophy is simply to design architecture that translates human needs, enriches values and behaviors, invests in life and is livable, within the urban structure. It is a timeless architecture that adapts to multiple uses, in addition to customer needs, giving importance to every detail of high quality workmanship, material and execution. In the Company, constant attention to context leads to the presentation of international architectural competitions, as well as to the presentation of detailed private and public residential and commercial projects, with a far-sighted vision to contribute to the “evolution of architecture”, knowing that monitoring closely related heritage and culture is the basis for creating a modern design language.
After working with multiple ores and exploring its boundaries; Do you prefer to work with specific materials?
Expressive, delicate and memorable materials, with which the senses immediately establish a connection.
The architecture is compared to the sport of jujutsu (a set of Japanese martial arts styles), which is practiced. Tell us more?
Both areas agree in terms of discipline, hard work, humility and the ability to breathe after a fall, as well as in solving any problem, always realizing that there is a solution and that the latter must be effective .
The architecture is similar to the Japanese martial arts “jujutsu”, as both fields require discipline, hard work and humility.
In terms of design culture among Arab consumers; There are big changes in taste .. what do you think?
Yes, there is a higher appreciation for “timeless” craftsmanship and architecture.
Who are your favorite engineers?
Visionaries Peter Zumthor and the late Oscar Niemeyer, Isai Winfield, Alberto Kalach and Marcio Kogan, who serve as role models in craft-led contextual engineering practices, and Carlo Scarpa, who illustrates materialism and craftsmanship.
What are your plans for the future?
I look forward to implementing ‘exciting’ projects that will improve the architectural language in the region, as well as strengthen the European presence through the Company’s Luxembourg office.
in rows …
Tariq Al-Zaharneh grew up in Luxembourg before moving to London and receiving his undergraduate degree from the Bartlett School of Architecture. After graduation, he worked for several design firms, such as Urban A & O in New York and Bolles + Wilson in Münster, Germany. Prior to founding T.ZED Architects in 2015, the engineer undertook a range of projects throughout Europe, North America and the Middle East, in Dubai and Luxembourg. The company operates internationally, noting that its architectural and design practice is progressive.