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Islamic architecture provides inspiration for MELDA winner
Source: BI-ME , Author: Justin Smith
Posted: Tue April 29, 2008 12:00 am

INTERNATIONAL. Islamic architecture proved to be the ultimate inspiration and motivation for creative architectural lighting specialist Speirs & Major Associates. The international lighting design company garnered two awards at the Middle East Lighting Design Award, which included the coveted prize for ‘Project of the Year’, for their innovative lighting design for the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

The Mosque which accommodates more than 30,000 worshippers and is the sixth largest in the world also provided the perfect canvas for Speirs & Major to win the best interior lighting design for a ‘Public Building’.

Speaking about the multi-award winning project, Jonathan Speirs, Director at Speirs & Major Associates commented: “To win not just one but two awards for the same building is a testimony to the talent and dedication within our team as well as the quality of our lighting design which we feel paid the perfect complement to an outstanding example of Islamic architecture. It is also very gratifying that such an eminent panel of judges should recognise our work in this fashion and to be honoured in front of our industry peers was the icing on the cake.”

The Middle East Lighting Design Awards (known as MELDA) celebrate the creativity of the world's leading lighting designers who are enhancing the region's built environment through the power of light. The winners were honoured during a gala dinner at the Park Hyatt Dubai, attended by leading international lighting designers and senior professionals involved in the delivery of the region's major projects.

One of the judges, Riad Saraiji, remarked: “The ingenious lighting design that Speirs & Major created for the Sheikh Zayed Mosque deserved the highest accolade, but in many ways all of the entries deserved to be celebrated. Moreover, the bar has been raised for architectural lighting design throughout the region and a new benchmark for excellence has been established.” 

A total of six lighting design award categories were up for grabs including Public Buildings; Exteriors; Hospitality; Restaurants & Bars; Temporary Installations; Luminaires & Supporting Lighting Tecnology and of course the aforementioned Project of the Year.

Other winners announced on the night were, Kevan Shaw Lighting Design for their creative work on the Aspire Tower in Qatar; NeoLight for their hospitable designs for the Four Seasons Golf Resort; celebrating their 50th Anniversary, dpa Dubai were recognised for the Junsui restaurant project in the Burj Al Arab and Philips for their sustainable initiatives with the LivingColour product.

“A special mention has to go Matthieu Larivee of Luz Lighting Systems though. Having been told of his award for temporary lighting designs on Chantel Live at the Pyramids, he caught the first available flight out of Montreal along with members of his family to collect the award here in Dubai,” added Claire Brooks, Event Manager, MELDA.      

The winning entries were judged by an independent panel of top industry professionals such as, Ziad Fattouh, Shaun Killa, Markus Stebich, Jeff Willis, Riad Saraiji and George Katodrytis.

MELDA which is organised by IIR Entertainment and Installation Technology Group, is an integral part of PALME Middle East which concluded this week at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre. 

The awards were sponsored by Philips Middle East, Martin Professional Middle East, Production Technology and the international architectural lighting journal 'mondo*arc'. MELDA is also supported by iguzzini and the International Association of Lighting Designers and Lighting Urban Community International.

The full list of winners is show below.       
Public Buildings     
Winner: Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque Abu Dhabi, Jonathan Speirs, Speirs & Major Associates
Highly Commended: Aspire Tower Qatar, Kevan Shaw, Kevan Shaw Lighting Design
Winner: Aspire Tower Qatar, Kevan Shaw, Kevan Shaw Lighting Design
Highly Commended: Tabriz Bridge Iran, Mehdi Tabakhi, Royal Gift Electronics
Winner: Four Seasons Golf Resort, Alan Mitchell, NeoLight
Highly Commended: Raffles Dubai, Michael Curry, dpa UK
Restaurants & Bars     
Winner: Junsui, Burj Al Arab Dubai, Barry Hannaford, dpa Dubai   
Temp Installations     
Winner: Chantel Live at the Pyramids, Matthieu Larivee, Luz Lighting Design
Highly Commended Splash Fashion Show, Terry Miranda, Lighthouse Productions
Luminaires & Supporting Lighting Tech 
Winner: LivingColour, Philips, Philips
Highly Commended: Open Box, Fagerhult, Fagerhult
Project of the Year
Winner: Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque Abu Dhabi, Jonathan Speirs, Speirs & Major Associates 



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