Powerlist Creative 30 2023: Michael MAGILL Creative Director RSP
Michael Magill is the Creative Director of RSP, a diverse, forward-thinking multi-disciplinary design group, and his ambition for the company has always been to create meaningful spaces and experiences.
Despite his enormous responsibilities in managing the Dubai studio, Michael is deeply involved in the everyday craft of design. He guides a team of incredibly experienced architects and master planners through every stage of their creative journey, continually challenging and developing their design instincts while ensuring that every voice is heard. Under Michael’s guidance, the team has embarked on a wide range of project types, a hotel in the vernacular style of 18th century Saudi Arabia to a floating gallery in the virtual world Decentraland. Michael’s vision for RSP in 2023, was to secure projects that push the boundaries of design innovation resulting in elevating the global portfolio of the esteemed company.
A major achievement for RSP was winning the design competition securing the role of design architect for the Armani Hotel and Luxury Branded Residences, spanning a vast 35,000 square meters in Diriyah Gate, Saudi Arabia. Michael’s design harmoniously marries traditional and contemporary elements, showcasing the richness of Najdi design while featuring the brand’s iconic and world-renowned design style. Currently nearing completion, another prestigious project, the BAPS Hindu Mandir, spanning an expansive 55,000 square meters in Abu Dhabi, draws its inspiration from the UAE’s desert dunes and the profound cultural tenets of Hinduism. Michael and his team have meticulously crafted an iconic monolithic oasis, inviting all to experience its unique and memorable atmosphere.
Another project which will be completed by the end of this year is the high-end luxury residences at the Palm called Ellington Beach House. RSP, led by Michael, provided architecture and interior design services for this prestigious project. RSP has also ventured into new territory through the designing a master plan vision for a E-Sports Arena and entertainment district. The project will introduce a cyber district that will include an education hub with virtual and augmented learning, and specialised courses in game development, programming, computer graphics and animation.
Adding to the roster of achievements is the recent win led by Michael—the Nobu Hotel & Branded Residences on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, marking the prestigious brand’s debut in the region.
To meet client demand, Michael extended the Dubai studio by hiring a master plan team, which has subsequently collaborated on projects with Aldar Properties, contributing to large-scale residential developments in the UAE. Beyond the local landscape, RSP has also secured new projects with Roshn, a prominent real estate developer based in Saudi Arabia.
Aligned with Michael’s versatile design philosophy, as a Singaporean firm, RSP places sustainability at the forefront of all projects from their very inception. Given the pressing urgency of climate issues, Michael trains the team to remain steadfast in their commitment to being a proactive and creative force in enhancing and safeguarding our environment.
Embracing RSP’s commitment to extending the lifecycle of buildings, Michael took on the challenge of designing a zero-carbon ‘healing’ retreat nestled in a remote location in UAE. This visionary project encompasses the components of a wellness resort, focusing on long-term well-being, and incorporates sustainable practices. With a selection of eco-conscious materials and innovative construction and operational systems, including the elimination of single-use plastics, provision of refillable water stations, electric car-charging stations, and partnerships with local farmers, this resort epitomizes a sustainable lifestyle with zero waste.
Michael, who embraces RSP’s 67-year legacy and wealth of experience, believes it is our collective responsibility to nurture the next generation of budding designers, empowering them to actively champion sustainability and advance technology with a keen understanding of the ever-evolving role of design in today’s world.