About Us

  • article_2009
    Ayssar Arida, q-dar, info

    Q-DAR development | architecture | research

    “high quality architecture … very elegant design” [The Architectural Review / MIPIM Awards]
    some of the brightest urban minds of today” [Prof. Emeritus Manuel Castells, Berkeley]


    Q-DAR is a boutique design agency, specialising in very high quality design strongly informed by theory and research, yet always pragmatic and constructible.

    It was founded in London in 2002 by architect and urban designer Ayssar Arida and has since gained a unique reputation thanks to the quality of its work in England, France, Spain, Lebanon, Qatar, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Algeria, Oman, Sierra Leone, Norway, USA, Germany, and Belgium.

    Beyond the usual understanding of any project's context, most of our designs come after a proper social, economic, and historical analysis. That is why we are recognised as experts when it comes to the contemporary application of regional architectures, including in particular Islamic and Mediterranean identities (please check our work in Oman, Abu Dhabi and KSA including Mekkah, Madinah, Jeddah, Riyadh and al Khobar, for award-winning examples of advanced design).

    Our work varies in scale but never in quality, and we are proud of the multiple competitions won and awards our work has received (e.g "Doha Gardens / Janayen al Doha : Contemporary Islamic Living in Saudi Arabia", Best Community Project / Best Overall Project Cityscape Dubai 2005 and Best Overall Project MIPIM 2006).

    Q-DAR benefits also from Ayssar Arida’s extensive research and publications, namely the books Quantum City (2002, teaching western urbanism about the urbanity of complex Arabic, Mediterranean, and eastern cities), New Urbanism and Beyond: Designing Cities for the Future (2008, hailed as “an outstanding compendium of some of the brightest urban minds of today” and reaching #2 Amazon.com best-sellers list in urban design books), and Design Dictionary: Perspectives on Design Terminology (2008), where he literally wrote the definitions for urban design and urban planning. Ayssar has published dozens of articles, and has taught at the American University of Beirut and is regularly on juries and lecturing in the USA, UK, Europe and Lebanon.