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Studio Visit: LACASA Architects & Engineering Consultants
Last month, DesignMENA visited LACASA Architects at its sumptuous offices located in Motor City, where it takes up separate office spaces located on two separate floors of the building.
We spoke to the firm’s Brand and Marketing Communications manager, Ayman Jaber who led us through the lush and dark wood-decorated office, telling us about the development of LACASA and its future plans.
DesignMENA: Tell us a little about LACASA’s background?
Ayman Jaber: LACASA was established in 2006 by Emad Jaber & Nabil Al Khaja in Dubai. With over 30 years of experience in the country, Emad Jaber brought together a team of talented architects and engineers. The company did not start small, andsince its conception, LACASA has taken on some of the largest projects in the region commissioned by the major developers.
The firm is a multidisciplinary architectural practice with a diverse portfolio spanning all types of developments. Its services include architectural, structural, MEP, and interior design. Today, LACASA employs nearly 200 architects, engineers, and support staff across its offices. The firm has presence in the UAE, Qatar, KSA, Sudan, Australia, Jordan, and Palestine. The majority of LACASA’s projects are based in the UAE due to its strong relations with the key local real estate developers.
DM: How has the office developed since the early days?
AJ: In 2006, LACASA was located in the Burjuman Business Tower in Bur Dubai. As the team grew, more space was needed prompting the move to Motor City. Today, the practice is split between two floors in the Motor City Control Tower, dividing the design development department from the main office.
DM: How does the layout of the office reflect your work flow?
AJ: The office layout was designed to replicate the project’s flow from one department to another piloted by the dedicated project manager. The project starts in the concept department located in the east section of the 19th floor. The concept architects develop floor plans, area calculations, and 3D renderings creating the development’s basic look & feel. The project then makes its way to the west section where a team of structural and MEP engineers work side-by-side as they develop the most suitable structural designs and the the most efficient MEP systems. The project is then sent to the 9th floor where the design development team details the drawings and prepares the final version of the plans. The drawings then make their way out of the building and on to the site where LACASA’s supervision team monitors the construction and concludes the project.
DM: How would you describe the working environment at LACASA?
AJ: LACASA has a very rich corporate culture where a lot of emphasis is placed on social activities. These include cultural events, recreational physical activities, and general social gatherings. In the office, our management actively encourages its team to experiment, learn, and evolve. Professional training and certification programs are offered on a regular basis to all employees. We believe that the best investment we can make is in ourselves.
DM: What are your plans for future development of LACASA?
AJ: LACASA plans on expanding some of its technical teams in order to keep up with the demands of the market. The increase in manpower which will require more office space. We are currently in the process of working on the expansion plans.