On Homes instead of Houses from CEO of the Award-Winning Design Studio
Ahmed Gabr, CEO and Principal Architect of an award-winning architectural and interior design studio GAF Design Studio, located in Cairo, Egypt, talks about his road to success, his views on design principles and concepts and his company’s victory in Luxury Lifestyle Awards.
Ahmed, you are both the management and the main artist of GAF Design Studio. How did you come to combining these two positions? What were the main steps of your journey to success?
I have a clear vision and a well-structured plan to reach my goals, in which fostering qualified employees is the key component. A lot of effort is exerted into building up the GAF winning team, while I encourage them and help them channel their strengths to shine in a way that would benefit the business.
You say: “We don’t build houses; we create homes, your home.” What do you think makes a house a home in terms of design?
We don’t just design spaces; we create a better story with our detail-oriented design for a more personalized comfort zone that suits our customers’ needs and desires. At GAF, we learn more about our clients: their taste, style, and their life routine to make the best use of space, access and movement in their new home.
Your next expression is that: “Details are like the backstage crew, you don’t see them but they make all the difference.” This means that you must have very high expectations for all of your employees. Is that so? What are the main qualities you are looking for when recruiting?
A strong and dedicated creative team can do wonders and bring ideas to life. Thus, I’m always keen to hire ambitious candidates who are passionate, enthusiastic, ready to face challenges and willing to explore new aspects of innovation and growth.
Egypt is a very big and diverse country. Who are your clients mostly (where are they from, what is their social status), and what kind of projects are you usually asked to handle?
We are equipped and experienced in offering a wide range of exterior, interior and landscape services that fully comply with the clients’ needs, no matter what the circumstances are. GAF’s ultimate goal is to exceed the clients’ expectations and ensure that they are completely thrilled!
Your company reached another significant milestone this year: it became the winner of an international award Luxury Lifestyle Awards in the category of Interior Design Studio in Egyptian Market. Why did you decide to participate in the first place and what does the victory mean to you?
For me, this victory is a proof of success. It motivates me to develop the next breakthrough design portfolio that is both spectacular and functional at the same time. Participating in such a prestigious award is extremely rewarding; it’s an eye- opener in terms of the latest industry trends, it broadens your horizons, helps with networking and exchange of experiences and know-hows. Now, I get to look at my business from a completely different perspective and am able to better identify the potential areas for improvement.
Ahmed, now it’s only logical to ask: what are your plans for the future? For your company and yourself as its CEO and Principal Architect?
Moving from the local to the international market is my ultimate vision for GAF. It’s well-known that architecture is the “Mother of Arts”, hence I believe that we, as architects, can have a positive influence on our civilization and the quality of life in our society by combining artistic beauty and precision in designing buildings