Awards, People, SOM in the Press

George Efstathiou Named Middle East Architect of the Year

Photo Brian Lahiere © Windfall Films

Dubai, UAE - George J. Efstathiou, FAIA, RIBA, Consulting Partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM), has been named Middle East Architect of the Year for his innovative leadership and involvement in several high-profile projects throughout the Gulf region. Bestowed by Middle East Architect magazine, a jury of seven local architects and engineers recognized Efstathiou as one of the region’s most celebrated and established architects.Efstathiou accepted the award at the fourth annual Middle East Architect Awards ceremony, held in Dubai on Wednesday, September 14th. Upon receiving the honor, he commented, “I have worked for great clients in the Middle East and have been fortunate enough to have had the lead role on Burj Khalifa, but to be recognized by my peers away from home is truly a highlight of my career”. Last year, Efstathiou was also recognized by the Middle East Economic Digest (MEED), as one of Saudi Arabia’s most influential architects. While at SOM, Efstathiou has managed and led several key projects that haveshaped Dubai’s skyline, helping secure SOM’s reputation as a global design leader. For the last eight years, Efstathiou served as Managing Partnerand Chief Architect on Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, ROLEX Tower and Infinity Tower, all in Dubai. He has also been one of the top leaders for SOM on severa major planning projects, including the national Planning Strategies for the Kingdom of Bahrain and King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KACARE). Efstathiou continues to lead SOM’s expertise in several on-going projects in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and the UAE. In its nearly unanimous decision, the jury noted that Efstathiou boasts a “prolific experience which represents a deep and thorough knowledge of the profession.”

SOM capped the successful Middle East Architect Awards ceremony with ROLEX Tower’s win for Overall Project of the Year. It is the second year in a row that an SOM project has claimed this distinct honor.

About Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) is one of the leading architecture, interior design, engineering, and urban-planning firms in the world, with a 75-year reputation for design excellence and a portfolio that includes some of the most important architectural accomplishments of the 20th and 21st centuries. Since its inception, SOM has been a leader in the research and development of specialized technologies, new processes and innovative ideas, many of which have had a palpable and lasting impact on the design profession and the physical environment. The firm’s longstanding leadership in design and building technology has been honored with more than 1,400 awards for quality, innovation, and management. The American Institute of Architects has recognized SOM twice with its highest honor, the Architecture Firm Award—in 1962 and again in 1996. The firm maintains offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco,  Washington, D.C., London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai and Abu Dhabi.