Naseej awards key project design contract
Manama, February 23, 2011
Naseej, a Bahrain-based real estate and infrastructure development company, has awarded RMJM the contract for design of its massive housing project in the Kingdom.
Announcing this on Wednesday, Naseej said it had conducted a competition seeking innovative designs from all registered architectural firms in Bahrain. The contest attracted a large number of entries finally leading to four firms being shortlisted.
The housing project aims to provide affordable, high-quality and environmentally-friendly homes that meet the aspirations and budgets of middle-income Bahraini nationals, said Naseej.
RMJM, an award-winning international architectural practice, with a major presence in Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Qatar, was named the winner at a special ceremony held at the newly-opened head office of Naseej at Bahrain Financial Harbour.
A judging panel comprising Christopher Sims, CEO of Naseej; Paul Bonner, director of Davis Langdon, an AECOM company; and Jawad Al Jabal, vice president of the Bahrain Society of Engineers picked the winner.
Commenting on the design, the judging panel said, "It is a simple yet elegant community-based design, which reflects a modern take on traditional Bahraini architecture."
"The design is suitable for construction using a number of flexible methodologies, is sensitive to the demands of the Bahraini market, and specifically designed to accommodate the growth of the resident Bahraini family,” the panel added.
As the winner of the competition, RMJM will be the nominated architects for a design-build contract for Naseej’s first affordable housing project in Bahrain. The firm also received an honorarium to cover their expenses.
The housing design criteria and specifications for the competition were based on comprehensive research undertaken by Naseej.
This includes extensive and recently-conducted focus groups composed of a cross section of middle-income Bahraini households, designed to determine their preferences for the size and style of a family home, its location and environment, and supporting community facilities.
On the win, Graeme McKinnell, associate at RMJM Bahrain, said: "We are delighted to have won this hugely important competition, which coincides with the opening of our new studio in Bahrain."
"It is a real opportunity to deliver affordable housing of the highest quality to the people of Bahrain. Our design combines traditional values with a contemporary use of space, and the latest in building technology. We have designed each ‘Evolution’ home to be able to grow with a family, and to provide a solid foundation for future generations," he added.
On behalf of the judging panel, Sims said, "Key elements of the winning entry will be incorporated into the final design for the first affordable homes to be built by Naseej in Bahrain later this year."
"The success of this competition reinforces the demand-led and research-oriented approach adopted by Naseej to developing value-based real estate projects. This differentiation is underlined by our core values of innovation and excellence, and our commitment to community growth and sustainable development," he noted.
"In recent years, regional real estate developers and investors have concentrated on high-end, mixed-use developments aimed at the global transient market. As a result, the housing needs of middle-income nationals have been overlooked and remain largely underserved," Sims pointed out.
"It was to address this very need that Naseej was established by prominent private and public sector institutions to act as a pioneering catalyst for meeting the affordable housing development requirements of Bahrain and the Mena region," he added.-TradeArabia News Service