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Loubna Al Zalek, Senior architect, Atkins

Loubna

Senior architect

Background
When did you join Atkins?

 I joined in June 2004.

 Why did you join Atkins?

 Atkins is a very reputable firm that delivers exceptionally high-end, large-scale, multidisciplinary quality projects around the world. I wanted to be one of its members.

 What did you do before you joined Atkins?

 I was studying Architecture at the American University of Sharjah.

 How would you describe your role and responsibilities?

 I am a design team leader. My key responsibilities include attending client meetings, develop concepts, preliminary and detailed design for small, medium and large-scale projects, obtaining local authority , managing and co-ordinating different sub-consultants and preparing architectural specifications.

 How do you describe what you do to friends and family?

 I describe myself as a “designer”. I like to share with them, whenever I can, images of projects I’ve worked on.

 Do you have any professional accreditations?

 I have a Bachelor degree in Design and Architecture.
     Projects
What key projects have you worked on?

 I’ve worked on many projects including the five-star Address Hotel in Burj Khalifa Downtown, the Crescent and Gateway Building in Baku, Azerbaijan, and lately, Noida – a multi-purpose project in India (including two five-star hotel towers and a podium of six floors including a ballroom, speciality restaurants, cinema and a retail mall).

 What are you currently working on?

 Currently I am working on the masterplan for King Abdul Aziz Road in Mecca.

 What achievement are you most proud of?

 I was nominated for the Best Young Architect for 2008. I’m also delighted to have taken part in the Address Hotel which has received so many prestigious awards such as ‘Best Hotel’. I’m also very excited and happy that I’ve had the opportunity to work on the Gateway building which is now under construction in Baku.

 What’s the most technically challenging project you’ve worked on?

 Noida. It consists of seven free-formed pebble-like structures and two main elongated curvy buildings to house the hotel. The gross floor area is around 300,000sq.m. The most challenging part was the cladding package and interior design of such complicated areas. It was a pleasure working on such a challenging job and has definitely raised my design bar. The rest of the team was hugely supportive and very constructive.
The Atkins factor
How has your career developed at Atkins?

 My career has developed professionally from a junior position in 2004 to a key architect with my own projects and ability to deliver to standards. I have been mentored and given some key training jobs to enhance my skills in presentations, communication, etc.

 How have you been supported during your career development?

 The support was endless. I cherish all the support and knowledge given to me throughout the past nine years. I have strengthened my technical background thanks to the exceptionally qualified head of department and senior architects in my team. I’ve learned a lot here.

 How would you describe the culture at Atkins?

 Atkins is a very pleasant environment to be working in. It houses staff from all around the world with diverse backgrounds and cultures.

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