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Meet Ibrahim Joharji: CEO of INJ Architects

What is interesting is that most architects pride themselves on their work in large architectural offices or engineering companies, but Ibrahim Joharji always boasts that he climbed the ladder of architectural design with his own effort, and this justifies that people are always looking for perfection, but mastering the architectural profession is very important even A person becomes a master of his currency and loves in a strong way that he must be satisfied with.

Studies say that the expert becomes an expert in a specific matter after spending more than 10,000 working hours practicing and mastering a specific work. A Saudi architect caught our attention, who is considered one of the best young architects in the world. The Middle East is now working in silence and calm for the purpose of reaching a goal that is considered distinctive, which is the architectural character of the designs it presents.

This article talks about the architect Ibrahim Joharji, the owner and founder of the consulting office INJ Architects, who recently emerged after winning five international architectural awards to put Saudi architecture on the world map in terms of Architecture Competition and design glory. On a personal level, Ibrahim was born in 1984 to a business family in Mecca  The city in which cultures from around the world intermingled, who is distinguished by being a different city from the entire cities of Saudi Arabia, because it receives annually all the Islamic spectrum of pilgrims with their different languages ​​and culture. Also, he work In the gold and jewelry trade and the activity of hosting pilgrims in the hotels of his family, which earned him practical experience in project management, sales, and design as well.

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Ibrahim completed his architectural design studies in 2006 and obtained a top rank at the university to start his practical journey within their family company in one of the most important projects that were implemented in Saudi Arabia, which is the clock tower in Makkah, where the clock tower project is the tallest tower in Saudi Arabia so far and A very complex project and a candidate to break many standards,  all these experiences and successes were among the achievements of the Saudi architect, who was making a way towards his goal in establishing a new line in architectural design, and perhaps the difficulty and complexities of the projects generate strong experience.

The architect has completed 31 specialized courses and workshops in the field of architecture, engineering, safety, and project management from different regions around the world, America, Europe, and the Arab Gulf.

Ibrahim Joharji then established a library in 2009 under  name of i-lines, which was then changed to the name INJ Architects to carry his personal name,  in 2014 he won consultant contracts for the Ministry of the Interior in 2014 it was one of the  very important projects, where he is proud of this achievement, which is a qualitative leap in terms of experience and Friction with complex buildings and what gained experience in moving around the regions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and according to the Saudi architect, during one of the meetings held with one of the world’s architects who designs a building in Saudi Arabia, Ibrahim said to himself, “Why don’t we do the same thing?” And he already started studying the possibility of potential competition for international architects inside and outside Saudi Arabia, because it is very logical that these architects communicate with their office as it is a Saudi consulting office and has the experience and a strong background in the market and understands the local market more, and entry into the global market is easy and open if engineering and architectural expertise is available.

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Unlike some other architects, Ibrahim is not at all proud that he has worked or is a partner in any non-Saudi engineering company and sees himself as a result of his personal experience and dependence on God and national resources

Why Saudi Arabia does not design outside Saudi Arabia?

The question that you will find the answer to is about (the super architect), as the Saudi designer says that he sees in the great capabilities of Saudi architects and the ingredients that make them international. Also, they are able to design buildings outside their countries as our international architects do. The possibility of exporting Saudi architecture outside the borders of Saudi geography is considered valid and has already taken place, when Ibrahim participated in 5 international competitions, in which he won advanced ranks and prizes in America, Italy, Finland, and France. Around the world, when a single architect gets an advanced rank, this indicates the quality and strength of this architect, and that the next is better.

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The Kingdom’s Vision 2030 also takes into account the reliance on national cadres, which contributes to the sustainability of the local economy and ensures the distribution of the best job opportunities for all architects. Here we go back to one of the professors of architecture at Harvard University, Rahul Mahurata, who used to say “the architect must respect the community because he designs for the client a project for the community, and this architect is part of this community”. 

And recently, their architectural studio has placed their architectural studies within their plans to prepare architectural studies for Saudi society. Saudi Arabia is now going through a huge leap in the field of sustainability studies and architecture related to sustainability. The architectural team is currently active in producing research for this goal in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision that it supervises. The Saudi government for a more effective life for the Saudi society, which still looks with hope for the role of art and architecture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In conclusion, a hundred years ago, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was a desert land, and now it exports to the world high-class architects who win international prizes. This shows the extent of the sincerity of planning studies saying that European cities were built during 200 years compared to the current cities in Asia, which are built in only 20 years. And here we must ask ourselves: Will the compass of architecture and design always point to Europe or America? Or will new cities and countries appear on the map and compete for architectural leadership? This is what we will need to think about?

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