Balkr­is­han Singh and Seth Mat­son out­line VX Stu­dio’s de­vel­oper-fo­cused growth plans

Construction Week - - BRAND VIEW -

The Mid­dle East’s pen­chant for am­bi­tious de­sign and ar­chi­tec­ture is well known around the world. How­ever, it takes sound en­gi­neer­ing know-how to trans­late or­nately sketched out de­signs into work­able and re­source­ef­fi­cient struc­tures.

Bridg­ing this gap is a key pri­or­ity for VX Stu­dio, a Dubai-based ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign firm that is one of the com­pa­nies short­listed for the up­com­ing Con­struc­tion Week

Awards 2018, which will be held on 4 De­cem­ber, 2018. Ahead of the event, VX Stu­dio’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, Seth Mat­son, tells CW that the Mid­dle East’s com­pet­i­tive de­sign mar­ket is faced with the same chal­lenges as its global peers.

“The de­sign chal­lenges in the re­gion are essen­tially the same as else­where – how to achieve some­thing ex­cep­tional that meets all the func­tional, tech­ni­cal, and bud­getary re­quire­ments of the client,” Mat­son ex­plains.

“There is some­thing of an arms race in the de­sign fields here to do some­thing in­no­va­tive and dif­fer­ent, but that doesn’t al­ways lead to the best de­sign. In terms of con­struc­tion, [one] chal­lenge is the lack of an es­tab­lished work­force of skilled trades­men, which means achiev­ing high qual­ity or com­pli­cated fin­ish­ing de­tails re­quires ex­ten­sive su­per­vi­sion.”

These are among the fac­tors that drive VX Stu­dio’s cor­po­rate vi­sion and de­sign phi­los­o­phy, with the firm fo­cused on what its ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for projects, Balkr­is­han Singh, de­scribes as “de­vel­oper-cen­tric de­sign”, adding: “This means we place the de­vel­oper’s key in­ter­ests and ex­pec­ta­tions at the core of the de­sign process by max­imis­ing the sell­able area as well as re­turn on in­vest­ment (ROI). We con­tin­u­ously ex­ceed de­liv­ery to the high­est ef­fi­cien­cies and qual­ity stan­dards. Ev­ery project is a part­ner­ship, and we take the time to un­der­stand the client’s con­cept and vi­sion. We ap­proach each devel­op­ment in­di­vid­u­ally and con­sider its cir­cum­stances, pa­ram­e­ters, and op­por­tu­ni­ties to trans­late de­sign in­tent into built out­come.”

Singh points out that VX Stu­dio’s team is a crit­i­cal com­po­nent of this man­age­ment ap­proach, adding that the “hand-picked” in­ter­na­tional ex­perts work­ing at the firm hail from real es­tate devel­op­ment back­ground. This al­lows them to com­plete “the key de­sign re­quire­ments of the de­vel­oper through each stage of the de­sign process”, he says, adding: “We en­sure the project is com­mer­cially vi­able, and [de­vel­op­ers] get the best ROI.”

But what else are the Mid­dle East’s de­vel­op­ers seek­ing from their projects? Mat­son says sus­tain­abil­ity is – and will re­main – a key area of fo­cus for re­gional clients, as will tech­nol­ogy-driven ef­fi­cien­cies. “In­ter­est in sus­tain­able and well­ness-cen­tered de­signs will con­tinue to grow in the re­gion, as well as a fo­cus on mo­du­lar and pre-fab­ri­cated build­ing con­struc­tion tech­nolo­gies,” he ex­plains, adding that these pref­er­ences are grow­ing as de­vel­op­ers try to re­duce the re­sources con­sumed by build­ing pro­grammes.

VX Stu­dio’s ap­proach is find­ing tak­ers in the mar­ket, and Singh says the firm has re­cently worked on no­table Mid­dle East de­vel­op­ments, such as Ahad Res­i­dences and An­daz Ho­tel in Dubai. Singh adds: “We are also work­ing on Mag Creek Well­be­ing Re­sort, [which in­cludes] a well­ness ho­tel, ser­viced and res­i­den­tial apart­ments, lux­ury vil­las, and the world’s largest well­ness cen­tre.”

Chal­lenges re­lated to these projects in­cluded “the devel­op­ment and di­vi­sion of scope of ser­vices, stake­holder man­age­ment, [and] re­vi­sions and mod­i­fi­ca­tions in au­thor­ity re­quire­ments”, Singh says.

Mat­son be­lieves that VX Stu­dio’s de­vel­oper-fo­cused work ethic has pow­ered the firm’s suc­cess so far, and will con­tinue to do so in the fu­ture.

He adds: “VX Stu­dio is look­ing for­ward to ex­pand­ing our in­ter­na­tional op­er­a­tions by fo­cus­ing on re­gional and in­ter­na­tional mar­kets where the Dubai brand and rep­u­ta­tion for world class ar­chi­tec­ture is strong, in­clud­ing Saudi Ara­bia, North Africa, and the CIS coun­tries, as well as the Far East. We are con­fi­dent that our ex­pe­ri­ence as a de­vel­oper-cen­tric de­sign firm will en­able us to suc­ceed by of­fer­ing new clients out­stand­ing, cost-ef­fec­tive de­sign so­lu­tions.”

Balkr­is­han Singh, VX Stu­dio.

Seth Mat­son, VX Stu­dio.

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