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post updated 28 Apr 2021

Practice News

10 Mar 2010
BDP opens in Abu DhabiBDP merges with local practice SYNA to expand into the Middle East

Europe’s largest building design practice, BDP, has announced today that it has opened a studio in Abu Dhabi after agreeing to merge with local based multidisciplinary design practice SYNA.

BDP was founded in 1961 and is ranked in the top 10 architects in the world and the largest architect in Western Europe with an annual turnover of approximately AED 600m ($163m) in the last financial year. It employs more than 1,200 architects, designers, engineers, urbanists, sustainability experts, lighting designers and acoustics specialists in 15 studios across the UK, Ireland and Netherlands and France,

The internationally acclaimed architect has designed distinguished schemes such as the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, London. BDP was responsible for creating a new master plan for the Grand Slam tennis venue and designing the new 11,000-seat No 1 Court, broadcast centre, Millennium Building and new Court 2.

BDP Abu Dhabi practice leader – Nadine Nackasha:
BDP Abu Dhabi practice leader Nadine Nackasha
photo © Sanna Fisher-Payne/BDP

However, BDP is best known for its focus on community projects, such as schools, universities, hospitals and city centre regeneration. Last year BDP was shortlisted for seven awards by the Royal Institute of British Architects including its work on the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, the Bridge Academy school in London and the 42 acre master plan for Liverpool One – the retail-led scheme developed by Grosvenor that has successfully regenerated Liverpool city centre.

SYNA has more than 30 years of experience of designing viable and successful projects across the Gulf particularly in the hospitality sector, and has had offices in Abu Dhabi since 1993. SYNA’s project experience includes the Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort in Dubai and Danat Resort Jebel Dhanna, Abu Dhabi..

BDP has been growing its presence in the Middle East. It designed the ABC Shopping Mall in Beirut and was commissioned in 2007 by ODAC (Office for Development of Administrative Centres) to design 10 university complexes across Libya. However BDP chose to merge with SYNA because of their ability to deliver complex projects, through understanding the region’s culture and practices, as well as a multi-facetted and inclusive approach to design, very similar to the approach that BDP adopt in the execution of their projects worldwide.

“We celebrate our 50th anniversary next year and during that time have established ourselves as the largest and one of the leading architect-led interdisciplinary practices in Europe, but now is the right time for BDP to become a true global player,” said David Cash, BDP‘s international director and now the new chairman of the BDP Abu Dhabi studio.

“We consider the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to be one of the most exciting places in the world to display our range of skills and experience and we view Abu Dhabi as fast becoming the major commercial centre within this region,” he added.

The BDP Abu Dhabi practice will be run by Nadine Nackasha, who managed the original SYNA practice in Abu Dhabi and Gary Dicken, who has relocated to the Emirate from the BDP Manchester studio. Gary has been working with BDP for the last 23 years.

Nackasha explained that BDP will to continue to invest in building a world class building design practice in Abu Dhabi that will offer the full range of services, adding sustainability expertise and specialist engineering skills, including acoustics and lighting designers, so that clients can enjoy the diversity that BDP has to offer locally as they would find in BDP’s London or Manchester studios.

“BDP will relocate a number of specialists from the UK to work alongside the former SYNA team to create a new exciting building design studio in Abu Dhabi,” said Nackasha. “This international expertise combined with the local knowledge and understanding of the Middle East market from SYNA will create a compelling new practice in the region.”

BDP will be exhibiting during Cityscape Abu Dhabi at ADNEC between 18-21 April.

More information re BDP Abu Dhabi online soon

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Location: Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, the Middle East, western Asia

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Al Wathba Wetland Reserve visitor center in Abu Dhabi
Architects: Almena
Al Wathba Wetland Reserve visitor center Abu Dhabi
image courtesy of architectural studio
Al Wathba Wetland Reserve visitor center

Abrahamic Family House Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island
Design: Sir David Adjaye Architect
Abrahamic Family House Abu Dhabi UAE
image courtesy of architects
Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Architects

Recent Buildings by BDP

Liverpool One Award
Liverpool ONE
photo © David Barbour/BDP
Liverpool One Masterplan : BCSC Supreme Gold Award Joint Winner. 3 Dec 2009

Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Manchester, England
The Point Old Trafford
photo : BDP CDavid Barbour
Old Trafford Cricket Ground

Liverpool One

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