Powerlist Creative 30 2023: Abdulla AL-SHAMSI Managing Director, SHAPE ARCHITECTURE PRACTICE AND RESEARCH
Founder and lead architect at the award-winning firm Shape Architecture Practice and Research , Abdulla Al-Shamsi, studied architecture under Bernard Tschumi, at Columbia University in New York, where he received his Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design (MSAAD). He earned his Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) – Magna Cum Laude – at the American University of Sharjah. Al-Shamsi’s expertise has been built through leading some of the region’s keystone projects. Because of his excellent body of work, he is in high demand as a guest lecturer and critic at universities throughout the UAE.
At Shape, he has spearheaded the creation of landmark hotels and residences, as well as cultural centers, institutional facilities, and academic campuses. He established a multi-disciplinary approach built upon three key pillars of service: research, sustainability, and technology. Shape is able to address the particular requirements of each project by adhering to these precepts, fully understanding client goals, and establishing a connection that lasts throughout the design and construction process.
As an Emirati, he brings an in-depth understanding of the local lifestyle, culture, and environment to every project he leads. At the same time, working with a diverse staff brings fresh perspectives to Shape’s work, capitalizing on international design experience and methodologies. The team members come from all corners of the world, from here in the Middle East, to as far as Argentina and South Korea. Blending their strengths, Shape delivers designs that have global relevance, while still fitting seamlessly into the fabric of their locales.
Shape’s work can be spotted in major cities in the UAE and beyond. Their list of clients includes including private developers, national ministries, and government entities. Shape’s designs have become landmarks in the landscapes of Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Ajman, as well as in sites around Africa and Europe.
He is currently involved in a number of projects, including multiple Eco-tourism projects within the UAE. He has recently lead the handing over the Shees Friday Market in Khorfakkan.