The Middle East’s most breathtaking architecture and design projects of the last 12 months were last night celebrated at the fifth annual INDEX Design & Architecture Awards in Dubai.

Crowning the most awe-inspiring new builds, renovations and transformations of 2017/18, the INDEX awards paid tribute to the innovation and creativity of the designers elevating the region and its cities to rival the biggest international design hubs around the world.

Big winners included Dubai-based Bishop Design, who were named Design Firm of the Year; and Wilson Associates, whose Senior Vice President and Managing Director Isabel Pintado was crowned Design Leader of the Year.

Pictured: The winners of the 2018 INDEX Architecture & Design Awards gather together on stage

Pintado, who oversaw her firm’s relocation to a stunning new office in D3 last year, said: “It’s superb to have won because when you get an award like this, it’s an award of recognition by your peers. It means that they value what you do, all that extra effort, all those extra hours.

“This award is the result of a great team. You can lead people but if they don’t have the talent or the willpower to excel, no matter what kind of leader you are, you will fail. So this award really belongs to me team.”

Local projects taking home prizes included Dubai nightspot Lock, Stock and Barrel (designed by Broadway Interiors); the Smart Dubai offices in d3 (designed by dwp); and the impressive 118 development, home to an exclusive collection of full-floor residences, based in the Burj Khalifa District, Downtown (designed by Signature D T Real Estate Development).

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre in Kuwait won Best Cultural Design Project (designed by SSH), a new department store at ABC Verdun community mall in Beirut collected Best Retail Design Project (designed by Kinnersley Kent Design) and the History of Science Centre in Oman was awarded Best Institutional, Sports or Educational Design Project (designed by Hoehler + alSalmy).

10Concepts young designer Israa Mahmoud was named INDEX Rising Star 2018.

Samantha Kane-Macdonald, INDEX event director, said: “The scale at which the Middle East’s architectural and design offering has grown over the last two decades is down to the endless creativity and endeavour of the region’s buzzing design community. There really is nowhere else in the world that rivals the Middle East at this moment in time in regards to design ambition.

“Our winners tonight are those creators who over the last year have been at the forefront in continuing to drive the region into an exciting new era of design and architecture. And they are not alone in that: our entire longlist of more than 160 entries are testament to the brilliance and depth of talent we have here. I’d personally like to congratulate every entrant we had this year.”

The awards ceremony – which was attended by more than 300 guests and sponsored by Boss Design; Hawa Sliding Solutions; Windows, Doors & Facades; the IE School of Architecture and Design and OFIS – took place on the second evening of the annual INDEX interior design exhibition, taking place through Thursday at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

To find out more about or winners, click here

Full winners list - INDEX Architecture & Design Awards 2018

Best Café, Bar or Lounge Design Project

•              Broadway Interiors: LSB

Best Restaurant Design Project

•              Creneau International Middle East: Cho Gao

Best Healthcare / Wellness Design Project

•              Brand Creative: Rossano Ferretti

Best Residential Design Project

•              Signature D T Real Estate Development: The 118

Best Institutional, Sports or Educational Design Project

•              Hoehler + alSalmy: History of Science Centre

Best Hospitality Design Project

•              WA International: Renaissance Downtown Hotel

Best Retail Design Project

•              Kinnersley Kent Design: ABC Verdun department store

Best Cultural Design Project

•              SSH: Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre

Best Refurbishment Design Project

•              S2 Interiors: VX Studio

Best Commercial Design Project

•              dwp: Smart Dubai Office

Fit-Out Contractor of the Year

•              ISG

Design Firm of the Year

•              Bishop Design by Paul Bishop

The INDEX Rising Star Award

•              Israa Mahmoud, 10Concepts

Design Leader of the Year

•              Isabel Pintado, Wilson Associates

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