BDP chairman Elliot makes Abu Dhabi visit

Michael Hunt

Gavin Elliot, chairman at the Manchester studio of BDP architects, is delivering a presentation to the Abu Dhabi Education Council this Sunday.

BDP, which also has a studio in Liverpool, has opened an office in Abu Dhabi after agreeing to merge with local based multidisciplinary design practice SYNA.

Elliott will be speaking to the gathering of the emirate's education chiefs about BDP's education projects, including award-winning schools in the North West such as Blackpool's Devonshire Primary, which collected a RIBA award and BSF exemplar, to the current project of ten universities in Libya and will be accompanied by Steve Merridew, the studio's sustainability associate.

Elliot said: "BDP is investing in developing a world class building design practice in Abu Dhabi that can offer the full range of services to our clients.

"As well as architecture, we are finding that our expertise in areas such as sustainability and engineering is of great interest in the region, and we also offer specialisms in the whole range of areas from acoustics to lighting designers. One area of particular interest to the Abu Dhabi Education Council is how to design zero carbon and sustainable schools in an arid climate, an area that BDP specialises in.

"We are committed to clients being able to enjoy the same integrated multi-disciplinary approach in the Middle East as they can in the Manchester studio."

Other representatives from the BDP Manchester practice were due to attend the formal opening of the new office in Abu Dhabi, but the team were unable to make the opening in time due to the week's airline disruptions caused by ash clouds from a volcano in Iceland preventing flight.

The new Abu Dhabi practice will be run by Nadine Nackasha, who managed the original SYNA practice and Gary Dicken, who has relocated to the Emirate from the BDP Manchester office. Dicken has been working with BDP for the last 23 years.

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I also went to Abu Dhabi last year on quite a few occasions… Tonight I may go to tescos for a shop. ;0)

By Brian