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Al Jalila Research Centre

The Al Jalila Research Centre is set to become a beacon for regionally-relevant medical innovation produced by home-grown biomedical researchers. IBI Group provided architecture and interior design services for the state-of-the-art, mixed-use building, providing accommodation for translational medical research, outpatient facilities, offices, and expansion/shell space with associated support functions that work in conjunction with the adjacent hospital facilities.

Al Jalila Foundation
Dubai, UAE
16,000 sq m Size
2018 Completed

The Al Jalila Foundation and Dubai Healthcare City selected IBI Group and GHD as the architects and engineers respectively to design the Al Jalila Research Centre, the premier scientific research facility in the UAE. The site for the project is the previous home of Dubai University Hospital, which stopped mid-construction in 2010. The design of the new mixed-use building innovatively works with the existing substructure and structural grid to produce an arrangement for laboratory, healthcare and office accommodation that is flexible and adaptable to future change.

The new research centre incorporates social/lounge areas on each floor to encourage ad hoc discussion and interaction between researchers away from formal laboratory or write-up areas. Primary laboratory spaces are counterintuitively located at the heart of the building, away from the external façade – an arrangement which allows a direct physical link to the supporting specialist laboratories, visual connection to adjacent write-up areas, and the transmission of abundant natural light to the primary laboratory via fully glazed division walls.

The building form and appearance is intended as iconic but timeless, with a minimal palette of materials and repeated rectangular curtain wall paneling providing a distinctive mega-grid diamond pattern. The building is topped by black-lit glass panels following the crescent profile, contributing to the varied Dubai roofscape.

The building’s distinctive appearance, which bucks the trend from the Mediterranean-themed Dubai Healthcare City zoning, was personally endorsed by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It provides the Al Jalila Foundation Headquarters with a distinctive identity and accommodation that enjoys commanding views towards the Dubai creek.

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Tony Burley

Regional Director, UK & Ireland
London, UK

London, UK

Tony Burley is the UK & Ireland Managing Principal for the Buildings group. He has led the design and management of project teams for all scales of healthcare, research and mixed use projects. His broad experience spans new build, refurbishment and strategic planning of facilities, in roles as both designer and client representative, and covers Traditional, Design and Build, Framework and P3 procurement routes. The multiple perspectives from this broad experience provides Tony with a real understanding of the opportunities and challenges that face developers and end user clients, and fuels a passion for ongoing innovation in the built environment at the intersection of design and technology.

Tony is an excellent communicator and regular conference speaker, who enjoys building strong relationships with clients, users and wider stakeholder groups.

Emma White

Studio Principal
London, UK

London, UK

Emma White is a qualified architect and a recognized specialist in healthcare design, working on £1 billion+ health schemes in the UK and Canada. Her experience at the successful set-up and delivery of these large-scale projects has led to her responsibilities broadening within IBI Group to overseeing QA and Process Improvements. Emma is a confident leader, successfully managing complex supply chain and stakeholder groups. She is experienced at managing large teams in the design and construction of healthcare facilities, and applies her in-depth knowledge in the development and implementation of design processes, schedules and protocols to assist in the management, and coordination of projects. Notable projects include the Queen Elizabeth University & Royal Hospital for Children and the Peterborough City Hospital, which was successfully delivered three months early.

Focused on programme, budget and design excellence, she will always strive to deliver cutting-edge healthcare facilities.