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MZ Architects wins Masterplanning category Award in AR MIPIM Future Project Awards 2013


MZ Architects is delighted to announce that it has received the Masterplanning Award for the design of “The Valley City - Qatar” at this year’s prestigious MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Awards ceremony held in Cannes, France, on March 13th 2013.

The project designed by the Lebanese firm MZ Architects for the leading Qatari real estate company Sak Holding Group, was one of around 200 entries to the awards that uniquely focus on building designs for projects awaiting construction or still on the drawing board, spanning over twelve categories.
With a strong focus on creativity, the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Awards which have been running since 2002 showcase schemes that are not only examples of excellent architecture, but have also responded to clients' development briefs and considered their impact and contribution to the community with effective environmental and social responsibility. Now it their 11th year, the awards form the centerpiece architecture event at the annual MIPIM Real Estate Conference and Exhibition, the world’s most influential event in the real estate sector attracting over 20,000 delegates every year from around the world. Past winners include among others Foster & Partners, Ateliers Jean Nouvel, SOM, and mossessian & partners.
Marwan Zgheib – Principal of MZ Architects – and Hesham El Sahatry – CEO of Sak Holding Group received the award at a formal gala ceremony and dinner held at the JW Marriott Hotel on March 13th 2013 in Cannes, France.
The Chairman of Sak Holding Group, H.E. Sheikh Khaled Thani bin Abdallah Al Thani, attended the ceremony alongside representatives from both MZ Architects and Sak Holding Group. Some of the world's most influential design and real estate professionals were also present to honor the elite Award recipients for 2013, with projects hailing from Japan, Turkey, India, USA, Brazil, Sweden, Qatar and China.
The panel of professional judges chaired by Paul Finch, Editorial Director of The Architectural Review, included Roger Zogolovitch, Architect and Chairman of Solidspace; Peter Stewart, Architect and Principal of Peter Stewart Consultancy; and Dr. Sutherland Lyall, author and critic.
The judges praised MZ Architects’ masterplan of “The Valley City – Qatar” and considered that it stood out as “an unusual proposition for Gulf city-making without recourse to the ubiquitous glass tower”, also noting that “The analysis of how conventional urban forms are the consequence of inheritance and sub division provides the basis for an intriguing alternative.”
H.E. Sheikh Khaled Thani bin Abdallah Al Thani dedicated the award to H.H. Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar and H.H. Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, Heir Apparent, and commended his wise leadership, under which the country is witnessing an unprecedented development renaissance. He expressed his happiness for the international acclaim received by the Valley City masterplan, as it is the first project to be executed by Sak Holding Group in Qatar. He said: “This architectural achievement will boost the company towards further successes and accomplishments which will entrench Qatar's prominent role in the real estate sector, in the region and worldwide”.
For Marwan Zgheib, the award confirms his company’s ongoing commitment towards sustainable architecture: “We at MZ Architects are deeply honored to receive this award for the 2nd year in a row, and I am personally delighted by this recognition as the awarded project is located in Qatar which I consider as my second home, and where I lived for a very long time and witnessed many of my designs come to life.” On the Valley City project, Zgheib explained: “The masterplan of the Valley City has emerged from my personal experience of living in Qatar and my in-depth understanding of the existing urban morphology and social structure of Qatari cities. Living among the expatriate community of Qatar, the main issue was a shortage in affordable small and medium-size rental accommodation as well as a lack of relationship between the residential neighborhoods and the green areas. With the Valley City project we succeeded in respecting and enhancing the architectural guidelines of traditional Qatari and Islamic cities, while balancing the objectives of a thriving commercial development with the needs of the growing community of expatriates. The result was an orderly, sustainable and environmentally sensitive masterplan focusing on low-cost construction, modern planning and housing solutions that provide an environment where work, leisure and residence are strongly bound. The city we created is an example of innovative strategies in sustainable planning, architecture and low impact design in the desert environment in which it lays.”
Located on a 3 million sqm desert plot, the Valley City is intended as a live-work-play city for middle income expatriates and Qatari citizens. Developed using Chaos Theory as foundation and mathematical tool, its urban grid is built perpendicular to the hot desert wind whose path, generated by the wind turbulences, leads to the development of a linear city with a catalytic green valley crossing it between residential fingers. Established with sustainable and green standards, the Valley City masterplan maximizes the use of natural elements such as wind, water and sun, and minimizes financial building costs, while offering all the benefits of an energy saving city throughout its design and building material.

About MZ Architects:

MZ Architects is a multi-award winning architecture firm founded and lead by Marwan Zgheib since 2002. Initially based in Qatar, the firm won several architectural competitions and had the opportunity to acquire extensive experience in designing and developing high-rise buildings in the midst of the construction boom in the country. Within a few years, MZ Architects became one of the leading architecture and consultancy groups in Qatar and in the Gulf, with a regional office in Abu Dhabi. In 2007, MZ Architects’ headquarters were reassigned in Lebanon as an architecture and urban planning firm providing services for masterplanning projects, small-scale houses, hotels, high-rise and low-rise buildings, residential and commercial buildings, stadiums, cultural centers and industrial buildings spread across Lebanon, Qatar, the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. MZ Architects has received several international awards in the last few years.
For more information and photos of the Valley City project, or to schedule an interview with Marwan Zgheib, kindly contact:
Office phone: + 961 9 636405
Fax: + 961 9 636404
Information on the MIPIM Architectural Review Future Project Awards is available on the following website:

For more information

Tel +961 (0)1 426 032 Fax +961 (0)1 426 032

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  1. Zeina Karrit