Liam J Farrell
Current position & company?
How many years have you worked in the Middle East?
Which major projects have you been involved with throughout your career?
Al Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi
Uptown Motor City, Dubai
MotorCity Masterplan, Dubai
SKMC/Tawam Dialysis Centres, Abu Dhabi
Study and Development of Landscape Systems, Al Ain City for Al Ain Municipality
Al Ain Parks Redevelopment, Al Ain
Jebel Ali Village, Dubai
F1X theme Park, Dubai
The Courtyard Marriott Hotel, MotorCity, Dubai
The Renaissance Hotel, MotorCity, Dubai
Al Aqr Resort, Oman
Al Wurai’ah Valley, UAE
Numerous private and commercial projects, New Zealand
Describe your Dream Project?
A place that people remember and keep coming back to. I believe that the success of a good landscape design is that it matures into something special that draws people back to experience again and again.
How do you see the future of the landscape industry in the GCC region developing?
The concerns of irrigation water coupled with more stringent design codes for outdoor shading are issues that Landscape Architects will continue to face in the future. The challenge is for Landscape Architects to design with more thought and to create solutions that form fabulous environments for people, without relying on vast tropical vegetation and extensive water features. These landscape elements have been supplied in abundance for the past 10 years or so in UAE developments. Landscape Architects need to be innovative with a new and more responsible approach to site design and sustainability, especially in this region where resources such as water are precious.
I believe we can learn a lot by studying the more culturally traditional design principles in terms of designing environments that specifically respond to the hot, dry, sun-baked environment we live in. It’s encouraging to see more native and naturalized plants becoming available in local nurseries, as well as more recycled materials. One of the biggest challenges for our profession is to educate clients about the attractiveness and appropriateness of designing with local materials, local plants and within a regional design language.
I hope there will be less artificial and inappropriately designed projects, with more projects that have strong regional design roots. The UAE is predominately fresh, and landscape professionals need to explore and create contemporary interpretations of the traditional elements of the desert, oasis, souk, village and fort, to strengthen the character of the urban and rural environments of the UAE.
What is your Motto in life?
Explore the world and expand the mind