Pierre Martin Dufresne graduated from Canada’s prestigious Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism in 1996, before moving to South East Asia, where his passion for design excellence bloomed during his seven-year stint at multinational giant HOK’s Hong Kong office.

Dufresne was quickly given a senior role for the architectural concepts of a number of prestigious commercial and residential projects in the region, which led him to develop a keen interest in large-scale projects.

His experience also took him to a variety of regional locations, where he oversaw the design of projects in Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and China.

He then accepted a sought-after senior position at award-winning Kerry Hill Architects in Singapore.

Dufresne worked on several high-end resorts in Southeast Asia, including the Chedi in Chiang Mai, Thailand, the Sukhothai in Bangkok, and the Amansara in Cambodia.

Dufresne relocated to Dubai in 2005, where he famously developed one of Abu Dhabi’s most striking emblems, Capital Gate while working for RMJM.

Guinness Book of World Records has since dubbed the remarkable gravity- defying hotel/office is the world’s most leaning tower.

Dufresne has also written a book about the tower: 18 degrees – Capital Gate The Leaning Tower of Abu Dhabi – Birkhauser Verlag GmbH.

Dufresne co-founded the award-winning firm U+A in 2007, and has been the driving force behind the company’s personalised design approach ever since.

His architectural enthusiasm stems from his long-standing fascination with ‘living structures,’ or buildings that improve the lives of their residents on a daily basis.

He has always valued the architect’s intrinsic responsibility and affinity for providing, understanding, and executing a design that is personalised to the client’s individual needs, giving each place a soul and a purpose.

Dufresne continues to hone his skills by embracing new technology and employing cutting-edge design tools.

Understanding the quick pace of design, he is constantly championing the relevance of design within the new challenges dictated too often by the real estate industry’s excessive demands. His reputation has since grown to include regional recognition as one of the top 10 most prominent architects in the Middle East.

He also leads all of U+A’s international operations, pursuing design excellence in the studios in London, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Montreal.

Dufresne has worked directly with prestigious clients such as Amaala, Emaar, Meraas, ADNEC, Hines US, IBM PRC, China Telecom PRC, Centrair Japan, Aman Resorts Singapore, GHM Hotels, Beaufort Group HK, and Indigo.