Hany Saad, Persistence always prevails

Written by: Yasmeen Ebada

Date: 2020-12-02

Persistence always prevails

While there are many architects and interior designers in the Middle East, only a handful stand out; one of whom is Hany Saad. Known as one of the best architects and interior designers in the region, Saad’s designs have stood out among his peers. His elegant and luxurious designs are what sperate him from other designers. Saad has executed projects for the Middle East’s most elite crowds, including celebrities, real estate developers, entrepreneurial innovators, and eminent patrician families.

Hany Saad knew he wanted to become an architect and an interior designer ever since he was a little boy and messed around with architectural materials in his room.

“I chose this profession for the sake of my love for it from a young age,” Saad said.

Unlike other high school kids who had no idea what they wanted to study in college, Saad didn’t have any other ambitions apart from wanting to study architectural engineering.

Upon graduation from Misr International University, he started his architectural firm in 2003.



“I have always been fascinated by architecture and interior design and how both are about designing a life and not just about designing spaces,” he said.

Similar to other architects and designers, he struggled at the beginning to find projects to work on. He made flyers and brochures and used his home phone number and email to communicate with his clients.

“I started working while I was a college student,” he said. “I started on a minimal scale as an architect and contractor. I started from scratch and had no employees to help me. I did it all by myself.”

Despite everyone telling him to work for architectural firms because he got some job offers upon graduation, he persisted.

All of a sudden, one project after another, he became more popular, and the Egyptian community started recognizing his top-notch work. He expanded from a one-room office space to Hany Saad Innovations, an architectural firm that offers design, construction, planning, and management services with 240 full-time employees and approximately 50 part-time employees. The firm has developed partnerships with international brands, including Decorative Glass, Jotun, Grohe, and Schneider Electric.



Since he started his firm, he has executed over 800 projects (residential, commercial, administrative, and corporate) in the Middle East and Africa.

Despite all obstacles, he refused to give up. He ran through every single wall and made it out alive.

The ability to connect with potential clients is one of the most important qualities of an interior designer or an architect. One of the ways that Saad does this is on his website. He has a whole section dedicated to the latest news in the architecture and interior design world, including new products and trends. Apart from wanting his clients to stay informed on the latest news of the business, it was his way of showing his potential clients and his colleagues a little bit about what Saad believes to be important in the business.

“It is important for every architect to connect to his audience as well as his fellow architects. One way of doing this is to allow the website’s audience to explore more of the worldwide news on architecture and design,” Saad said.

Saad also believes that designs should be inspired by the client’s character.

“You have to have an understanding of the client’s personality and their needs,” he said.

“You should observe the way they dress because their clothing selection will tell you a

lot about their personality. You should ask many questions about their profession, their hobbies, and their interests. All of this will give you a design concept to build on.”

Translating a client’s personality into the space is not a constant technique he implements because design circumstances vary.

“Each project presents a different set of requirements and constraints. Each project presents a unique set of cultural, environmental, technological, and aesthetic contexts that must be considered, with a host of challenges and opportunities that play a role as well,” he said. “However, if I get the privilege of portraying my client’s personality into the space, I implement it.”

Competing with other architects and interior designers is one of the profession’s biggest challenges.

“My goal is to create my signature fingerprint that is distinctive enough that people would recognize my designs the second they see it,” he said.



If possible, Saad strives to implement both functionality and aestheticism and have both go hand-in-hand in his designs.

However, if it isn’t possible, he would have to sacrifice a bit of functionality for the sake of the latter.

“Regardless of my preference, I have to bear in mind the client’s needs and taste as well,” he said.

The architecture and design world are moving toward implementing green technology and using more sustainable work methods. Saad believes architects and designers should evolve their techniques to meet green technology requirements as well.

“I believe that Egypt is ready to implement green technology and more sustainable designs,” he said.

Saad believes that there is an ongoing movement, both internationally and locally, toward biophilic designs. People are wanting to connect more with nature in their indoor and outdoor spaces. COVID-19 has been a huge factor to the biophilic demand, but Saad argues that this trend started before the global pandemic.

“COVID-19 is an even bigger reason for people wanting more sustainable and biophilic designs,” he said.

Saad believes that design work is correlated to both aesthetics and problem-solving.

“Our planet is plagued with problems,” he said. “I would like to be involved in humanitarian work, and I believe all architects should do the same.”



Human beings adapt to new trends frequently. Trends also affect the design and architecture industry.

“I’d say it’s a tug of war between commercial interest, the need to create, nostalgia, and the desire for novelty. It starts with a basic need to create. Somebody creates something, and it gets noticed by early adopters followed by the general public. Original ideas become widespread,” Saad said.

That is how trends are developed, according to Saad.

At some point, consumers become bored with the status quo, and this instigates a need to create new things.

“The need for new experiences makes society susceptible to their need to innovate,” he said.

This is why keeping up with the industry changes is critical in this profession to avoid falling into the trap of only implementing the latest trends.

Commercial interests boost and butter this process across generations and disciplines.

“This process introduces and cements new ideas and makes old ideas forgotten even faster,” Saad said. “Interior design does not exist in isolation. Creatives’ ideas are inspired by other fields, including fashion, technology, science, craftsmanship, movies, art, architecture, photography, and philosophy.”

Despite his recognition in the Middle East and Africa, Saad plans to expand even more and reach continents and countries that he never has before.

Saad partnered with Jaguar’s E-PACE model. He is Jaguar’s brand ambassador and its leading spokesperson for innovation.

“I’ve always been a car enthusiast and owner of many sports cars. I was honored to be approached by one of my favorite car brands,” he said.

Saad’s latest project was the residential mansion he executed in Hacienda, a residential compound located in Egypt’s Northern coastline produced by Palm Hills Developments, and he considers this project to be his “baby”.

“This project is dear to me because every tiny detail and every space is distinctive in its own aura while still portraying the character of every individual in the family,” he said. “We named it the ‘Hacienda Summer House’, and it was conceptualized to imitate the lavish life of living on a boat, on an island, and surrounded by water.”



Saad strives to mix many materials together in a sophisticated way to provide a final attractive design.

“I describe my design style as a mixture of harmony between conceptualized designs and expressive implementations,” he said.

While many people have inspired Saad while growing up, mentors were not his deepest source of inspiration.

“My deepest inspiration is not a person. It’s a city,” he said. “Milan is the most beautiful city in the world because of its designs that were inspired by the Roman architectural schools, which is characterized by sophistication, romance, and a love of life.”

Some of the tips that Saad likes to give his clients who are designing a house are to focus on creating a comfortable and warm environment.

“There is a direct correlation between the masses and the surrounding spaces,” he said. “There has to be a balance in choosing and arranging opposite elements, including shades of different colors, surfaces with different textures, and shapes of different sizes, to create visual excitement. The choice of style should respect and shadow the overall decor approach to improve aesthetics and appearance. To sum it all up, the entire space should have a unified rhythm to create a relaxed and elegant atmosphere.”

Saad never stopped believing in himself, and that is why he is successful.

“If the people around you don’t believe in you, either don’t interact with them or don’t listen to them. Also, be stubborn with your goals but flexible with your methods,” he said.

For more information on Saad’s work, check his website.

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