South African team wins MultiComfort House Students Contest in Dubai

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Winners of the 14th MultiComfort House Students Contest with Dawood AbdulRahman Al Hajiri, Director General of Dubai Municipality and Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Saint-Gobain group. – Supplied photo

Staff Report

Dubai – Saint-Gobain on Monday announced the winners of the international final of its 14th MultiComfort House Students Contest following the competition held in Dubai, participated by 50 students from 28 countries, who presented their unique designs of a dynamic and vibrant Cultural Village in Dubai. The contest, which began in 2005, is dedicated to architecture and engineering students from universities around the world.

The winners of the international university contest were honoured by Dawood AbdulRahman Al Hajiri, Director General of Dubai Municipality and Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Saint-Gobain group.

The first prize was awarded to Vahin Parmananda and Mthokozisi Sibisi from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Southern Africa. The second prize was bagged by Veronika Supruniuk from Brest State Technical University, Belarus, while the third prize went to the students from Germany, Tobias Bretz and Dill Khan from Hochschule Darmstadt University. During this edition two special awards were also given, which went to Alejandra González and Paulino Poveda from Spain and Santiago Rodríguez and Joanna Wnuczek from Poland.

The task given to the students was to design a multi-purpose development including residential, commercial and retail buildings, situated along the shoreline of Al Jaddaf Creek, which was evaluated by an international jury. Created in 2004, the objective of Saint-Gobain’s students contest is to develop a project based on the principles of the Multi-Comfort concept: an optimum indoor environment ensuring the right level of fresh air, thermal, visual and acoustic comfort provided in a sustainable and energy efficient manner.

The task for the 14th international edition of the contest, developed in close collaboration with the Planning Department of Dubai Municipality and the Dubai Properties Group, consisted in creating a vision for a transcultural vibrant community development located in the perimeter of Dubai’s Cultural Village. The challenge lay in Dubai’s very hot and humid climate. Students had to find a way to reconcile the reduction of energy consumption of cooling and ventilation systems with a beautiful and highly efficient building envelope without compromising any of the inhabitants’ comforts, and while providing optimum connection with the environment and having a minimum impact on it.

“Supporting the Multi-Comfort House Student Contest is part of Dubai Municipality’s keenness to achieve the UAE’s sustainability strategies. We have always welcomed and encouraged sustainable designs and concepts with a global character that preserve the natural resources of the country,” said Al Hajiri.

He said the Municipality has always been keen to support sustainable, energy saving futuristic projects as it aims to make sustainability a lifestyle covering all aspects of the society.

“Dubai Municipality has also been constantly trying to create awareness in the society on the concepts of sustainability and how to implement sustainability standards and rationalize electricity and water consumption, which is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to make Dubai one of the smartest and most sustainable cities in the world by 2021,” said Al Hajiri.

“The 2018 Contest witnessed the presentation of high quality projects. I am always amazed by their innovative spirit to use the Saint-Gobain Multi Comfort solutions to create better and great living places everywhere,” said Chalendar.

He said the contest sheds light on the incredible efforts of a young generation of distinguished architects who will be key contributors to ensuring that Dubai will enjoy a sustainable environment in line with its leadership’s vision”.

Samira Al Rais, Senior Director of Policy, Strategy and Sustainable Development, General Secretariat of the Executive Council of Dubai was also present on the occasion.

“Again this year, this 2018 MultiComfort Students Contest will be noted in the records for the high-level quality of the projects submitted by the students. I am always amazed by their innovative spirit to use the Saint-Gobain Multi Comfort solutions to create better and great living places everywhere. Congratulations to all of them!” said Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and CEO of Saint-Gobain.

“The MultiComfort House Student Contest sheds light on the incredible efforts of a young generation of distinguished architects who will be key contributors to ensuring that Dubai will enjoy a sustainable environment in line with our leadership’s vision.”

The international jury, who evaluated the projects composed of Mohammad Hassan Al Ali, Head of Projects Design Section from Dubai Municipality; Kifah Sbeitan, Director of Districts Management & Operations from Dubai Properties; Roland Matzig, Architect at RMP Architects in Germany; David Basulto, Founder and CEO of Arch Daily in Chile; Youssef Tohme, Architect, Founder and Partner at Youssef Tohme Architects and Associates in Beirut; Leif Andersson, International Manager for Innovation & Solutions at Saint-Gobain Insulation and Slawomir Szpunar, International Marketing Director of Saint-Gobain Group.

The winners of the national stages in each participating country presented their projects in the international stage representing their countries. Countries that organized national stage contests in 2018 were Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Egypt, Finland, Germany, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kirghizstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mexico, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, and the UAE.

Saint-Gobain, which operates in 67 countries with more than 179,000 employees, had €40.8 billion in sales in 2017. It designs, manufactures and distributes materials and solutions for buildings, transportation, and infrastructure and in many industrial applications. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com