Brian Johnson
Principal and Managing Partner,Godwin Austen Johnson Architects

Brian Johnson, Principal and Managing Partner of GAJ Architects (Godwin Austen Johnson). The British architect began his career in London in 1973 and in 1975 took a decision to move to Dubai. With 40 years of regional experience to his name, Brian’s influence on modern Middle Eastern architecture is undeniable. His body of work comprises some of Dubai’s most recognisable and prized buildings. Among them is the Dubai Creek Golf Club, widely recognised as one of Dubai’s first architectural icons – so much so it features on the 20 dirham note. Brian is credited with having set in motion a countrywide trend in the UAE to incorporate traditional Arabic and Islamic themes into modern architecture. His award winning practice, which in 2014 celebrated its 25th year, has a portfolio of projects across the Middle East, North Africa and India His distinctive style and uncompromising resolve for design excellence are acknowledged with major architectural awards, as well as personally being awarded ‘Principal of the Year’ in 2011 and achieved a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at the 2015 Identity Design Awards.

Godwin Austen Johnson Architects
Godwin Austen Johnson (“GAJ”) is one of the largest and longest-established UK architectural and design practices, headquartered in the UAE. The award winning multidisciplinary practice, with dedicated Architecture, Interior Design and MEP divisions, with 200+ employees from over 20 different countries, has particular expertise in hospitality, education, masterplanning and sport & leisure design, throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Throughout its 25 year history, the company has created some of the Emirate’s most iconic buildings, such as Dubai Creek Golf Club, Bab Al Shams and the Arabian Court Residence & Spa at The One & Only Royal Mirage, Dubai. Its more recent work includes a combination of eco-conscious developments and revitalisation projects, aimed at preserving heritage and cultural identity. The company’s young and dynamic nature contributes to its successful interpretation of trends, use of innovative products and design techniques, as well as its ability to deliver complex projects locally or internationally. GAJ remains committed to the belief that the quality of the built environment is an essential part of the economic and cultural fabric of society, in which the very best design approach plays a central and intrinsic role.
"The Leaders in Architecture Summit is one of those events that is of significant value to us and well worth making the effort to attend. The panel discussions in particular are a useful barometer of what’s going on in the region and provide us with a great opportunity to discuss topical issues with industry colleagues."