A trip to Madrid, Spain, in 2007 led to a career choice for 24-year-old Lubna El Orfaly, who is an architect at Lacasa.
“The buildings just struck me,” she says. “I noticed the level of detail and that was what attracted me to the job of an architect. It was all about the culture I could see everywhere.
“That and the fact that both my parents are civil engineers.”
Born and brought up in Dubai El Orfaly said she remembers the origins of the modern city.
“I can think back to when BurJuman was the one of the largest malls and World Trade Centre the tallest tower. Then I just saw things getting bigger and bigger and communities expanding.”
In her design philosophy El Orfaly looks to combine disciplines.
“I like a mix of functionality and beauty,” she says. “But I do like simple design, something easy on the eye and not too over the top. When it comes to projects residential design is a favourite as it is very personal.
“But a major project at university was a cancer rehabilitation centre, so I also like to work on developments which help people in certain ways and have a social function.”