NOA is a young yet experienced design firm that was founded in 2019 in response to the Kingdom’s and the region’s demand for new vision to reinvent and reinvigorate its cities and cultural life. NOA is founded by Firas Hnoosh, an established architect who worked internationally in the US, UK, Europe and the GCC and is a Swedish national with Middle Eastern background, and Albara Saimaldahar, a Saudi national and an accomplished industrial designer and entrepreneur based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

NOA is a design firm that specializes in far more than building design; we are about creating experiences and lifestyles at different scales; from the urban scale of a city or a rural development to the scale of a single piece of furniture. We are designers of experiences and lifestyles. Our Unique Selling Point or USP is offering our clients the quality and excellence in design, design management, technical delivery and technology to top international standard with the marked difference of a dedicated personalized service.
The name NOA has a dual meaning in English and Arabic. NOA is transliterated to NOWAH “نواه” which in Arabic means core, center or the origin of something. We see NOA as the originator of unique visions and ideas.

CEO FOUNDER

Firas Hnoosh

Firas Hnoosh
RIBA, LEED AP
Managing Director

/Leadership

Firas Hnoosh
RIBA, LEED AP
Managing Director

Firas Hnoosh has over 20 years of professional design experience. Most recently, Firas was the Principal and Design Director of Perkins+Will’s Dubai studio. Moving to the UAE in 2013, Firas held the position of design director at the Abu Dhabi practice of the international architecture firm Gensler. Before joining Gensler, Firas led a design studio at the London office of the renowned architectural design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) where he developed a focus on high rise buildings and high density developments.

Firas advocates and promotes a design approach to create holistic architecture by designing buildings as response to their context in its multiple facets; urban, social, cultural and environmental. His approach aims to create spaces and buildings that are inclusive, of-their-place and -time and expressive of their brief and client aspirations. Firas’ built works include The Lexicon Tower in Central London, Manhattan Loft Gardens in London’s Olympic Village, the Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal in Mina Zayed Abu Dhabi, The Basaksehir Hospital Complex in Istanbul and several residential buildings and hotels in the Middle East Region both on the boards or under construction.

Firas holds a Master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) in Philadelphia, USA. He is a chartered licensed member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), he is registered with the ARB in the UK and also a LEED Accredited Professional.

/Awards & Recognition

Firas Hnoosh and the NOA team have won several awards over the years and have been recognized in several rankings including:

  • Architect Middle East Magazine. Ranked Firas Hnoosh as number 13 of 50 influential architects from the Middle East 2019: Read the full article
  • Construction Week Magazine Power 100 List ranked Firas Hnoosh number 93 in 2017 and 98 in 2018:  Read the full article
  • Architect Middle East Awards – Public Sector and Education Project of the Year 2017
  • Architect Middle East Awards – Best Large Architecture Firm 2016
  • LEAF Awards 2012 Best Future Building Project: Manhattan Loft Gardens, London, UK by Firas Hnoosh as Design Associate and Studio Head at SOM

/publications

Firas has written in several professional magazines and contributed to books on the subject of design and architecture including:

  • Middle East Architect: “Dubai should build a green park over Sheikh Zayed Road, argues Perkins+Will principal Firas Hnoosh” 19 June 2017.Read the full article on this Link
  • Middle East Architect magazine, July 2017, article named “Dubai to Densify”
  • Middle East Architect, Guest Columnist: “Perkins + Will’s Firas Hnoosh says the future of urban planning is “up not out” 21 August 2017. Read the full article on this Link
  • SOM Journal 8, Project: 1 New Blackfriars. Publisher: Hatje Cantz, November 2012.
  • Meander – Variegating Architecture, by Ferda Kolatan and Jenny Sabin, Publisher: Bentley Institute Press November 2010. Featuring an academic project at the University of Pennsylvania exploring parametric, spatial and structural behaviour of form.

/Speaking Engagements:

  • Speaker, ZAK World of Facades 2019, Dubai, UAE. Presentation entitled “Designing Local in a Global Context” on 19 March 2019
  • Speaker, CTBUH – Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Conference 2018, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Presentation entitled “Redefining the High-Rise” on 25th October 2018
  • Judge, Tamayouz Excellence Award 2018, Tamayouz International Prize Judging Panel, Coventry University
  • Speaker, Architect@Work Istanbul 2017, Turkey – “The Art of Placemaking: A Subtractive Approach” on 3rdOctober 2017
  • Speaker, Vertical Cities Conference 2017, Dubai, UAE.  Presentation entitled “Redefining the High-Rise” on 6 March 2017
  • Judge, WAN’s Tall Buildings Awards 2017
  • Judge, LEAF Design Awards 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017
  • Guest Lecturer on Tall Buildings at Oxford Brookes University’s School of Architecture, February 2013
  • Judge, SOM Foundation Awards for RIBA President’s Medals Student Awards 2010
  • Guest Juror, Architectural Association Em-Tech masters programme, January 2010
  • Guest Juror, Southbank University 4th Year Diploma programme, May 2010