“The persistence helped me to keep going!”

Ramsey Safar is an architect from Ramsey Safar Consultant - Architecture and Interior Design. Prior to establishing his practice more than 29 years ago, Ramsey worked with ABC Builders focusing on architectural designs for several major hotels buildings in Saudi Arabia where he currently completed 16 hotel towers with 11.000 bedrooms. Men&Life had an interview about his special career.


Why did you choose to become an architect?

I've always loved the beauty found in all kind of art. My first choice was not to become an architect, but in fact to be a successful fashion designer. But with my parents wanting me to become a doctor, architecture was what I thought to be the next best choice for a major. 


When you were a child did you want to become an architect?

As explained previously, as a child I wanted to become a fashion designer.



Can you describe an evolution in your work when you began until today?

Back in 1999, I had the privilege to receive a project to build a family residential complex for the president of chamber of commerce, “Sheikh Ismail Abou Dowood”. I consider this project to be what pushed me to have an international presence.


What do you think is the most effective for presenting a project?

While presenting a project, the most important thing is to portray colors in my designs, simplicity, and lines, all through a luxurious presentation. Additionally I like for the audience to recognize my creations.



What skill has served you best in your architecture career?

One skill is my persistence to make it in this industry. I was often pushed down, and doubted, etc. However my persistence helped me to keep going and do better than I was before.


Another skill is my unique way to see things. Having that be the case, I always design the projects myself, as I need it to represent what I imagined. No one can see through my thought better than I can.



Which architect most influences your work?

I wouldn’t say that there’s one particular architect that influences my work, but I can say that Le Corbusier is one of my favorite architect because I find him to be very brave with his vibrant colors in his work, his pure lines, and how managing spaces in an efficient way.


Where is the best location you work in when you have a project?

In terms of thoughts and ideas, I get them most while driving. However in terms of actual work, I have made of my personal office to be a colorful, peaceful, spacious, and a quiet room because that’s the kind of environment that helps me work at ease and stay concentrated.



Tell me about one of your previous project. How did you make it successful?

One project that stands out for this question is concerning a resort I did in the golf, a resort in the middle of the desert. What made it successful is the way I portrayed a unique approach through this project, meaning I created a unique style by mixing some European, American and Islamic designs to make one. The uniqueness of the latter made the price jump three times up, which made it sell almost immediately. They even changed the name from “Desert resort” to “Dream resort”.


What factors led to your biggest success to date?

Having a good reputation in this industry and a recognizable name.



Which is the project you’re the most proud of?

After every project, I feel accomplished but I don’t feel proud. Simply because after every project I’ve done, I find that I’m able to do better and better. So the answer is none. I’m reaching for perfection and have yet to find perfection.


Is creativity more important than practicality?

The presence of creativity in this industry is valuable but it’s not needed as much as practicality is. Without creativity, your project will lack the unique touch. But without practicality there won’t be a project to be presented, not a good quality one at least. The idea situation would be to have both creativity and practicality.


Will you be ready to work in Vietnam?

I find that Vietnam has a luxurious and unique taste when it comes to the work I do, and as I’m all about presenting unique projects, I think Vietnam is a perfect fit to pursue the rest of my career in. That is why I decided to ask two professionals that are familiar with the country (Mr. Henri Hubert and Mr. Hilaire Hubert) to represent our architecture and interior design office, and act in our behalf.