Powerlist Creative 30 2023 : Shaun Killa, DESIGN PARTNER, KILLA DESIGN
Driven by design excellence Shaun Killa is an award-winning architect with international experience spanning over 28 years. He bases his design philosophy on innovative low-carbon sustainable buildings and challenges architectural norms to create expressive and timeless forms, which has led him to design numerous highly recognisable projects such as Almas Tower, Dubai Opera House, and Bahrain World Trade Centre – the world’s first largescale integration of wind turbines on a building.
In his early career, Killa has won multiple global awards including ENR News Maker Award, New York, the Global Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction for the Lighthouse Tower, and CTBUH Best Tall Building in the Middle East Award for Bahrain World Trade Centre.
Killa Design was established in Dubai in 2015, and he has worked on signature projects, including the award-winning designs for the Museum of the Future, the Address Beach Resort, W hotel Namaste, Vida Dubai Marina & Yacht Club, Marsa Al Arab, Sheybarah Island, Aykon Twin Towers, and the Office of the Future, the first occupied printed building in the world.
In 2017, 2021 and 2022, Killa was ranked number 1 as ‘Most Powerful Middle East Architect’ inclusive of winning ‘Best Architectural Firm, 2022’ in the Middle East, by Construction Week for the 3rd year running, and ‘Best Workplace of the Year’, at the Middle East Architect Awards, 2022.
He continues to collaborate closely with the Killa Design partners on a variety of projects to ensure the highest design quality while also providing innovative and sustainable ideas.
Killa is also a keynote speaker at multiple global conferences, inspiring architects and developers to question the status quo and focus on sustainable buildings and masterplans to continue to improve the urban habitat, the people that live within them and aggressively reduce carbon emissions from the built environment.
Killa’s previous projects in Dubai include the Museum of the Future, Address Beach Resort, Office of the Future, Vida Marina, and Yacht Club.
Marsa Al Arab Hotel, Dubai; Sheybarah Resort, Red Sea Development, KSA; Palm Residence; Cavalli, Residential Towers; and others are among his exciting projects currently under construction.
The firm has won prestigious design competitions such as the Royal Arts Complex in Saudi Arabia, a private art gallery in Sharjah, and several projects in Neom and the Red Sea.
Killa’s upcoming projects include the Iceland Resort and Residences, Maldives Masterplan and Resort Hotel, and mixed-use 3 Luxury Residential Towers in Dubai.
Killa’s priorities include zero-energy and water resort hotels, as well as staff engagement initiatives, group triathlons, and learning to sail.
Killa feels: “In the last two years, the Middle East region has defied global trends in terms of the initiation of large project opportunities in the luxury and hyper-luxury residential and hospitality sector, in particular the UAE and KSA. Dubai’s efficient management of the epidemic further projected its robustness in global recovery, which attracted people from around the world reinforcing its position as a global hub for hospitality, residences, and commerce. This has created multiple design and construction opportunities within the UAE. Saudi’s Crown Prince’s progressive opening up of KSA to global tourism and high-tech commercial industries has created unprecedented design and construction opportunities for the Middle East. Highly sustainable solar powered cities and resorts will create new benchmarks in future developments within the region.”