Yahya Kan is the president and design director for architecture and engineering firm NORR, which is behind some of the best-known landmarks, including Atlantis and Shangri LA Hotel.
Jan grew up in Karachi, Pakistan and at 18, he moved to the United State of America on a scholarship. Jan bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Structural Engineering at Princeton University and Masters in Architecture. After his education he worked in US for nine years until he received a job offer as a senior designer working on the Emirates Tower office and hotel complex.
When Jan first arrived in Dubai in 1996, he never thought he would leave such a legacy, designing some of the city’s most iconic office developments, residential towers and malls.
He is presently working on one of his most ambitious creations. Due for completion in 2023, Ciel Tower will have more than 1000 rooms and suits spread over 82 floors and at around 1, 200 feet. It is set to become the world’s tallest hotel.
He is tasked with designing the skyscraper on a triangular plot of land at Dubai Marinawith an area of just 2,500 square meters, small for a building that height. Twelve floors have been completed but even this far into the building, Jan said he remains “extremely involved” in the work. “When you design a project as complex as the Ciel, you can never let your guard down, you can never say it’s over,” he said. “It’s a continuous process.”
The name Ciel Tower was gotten from the French word for Sky. Jan hopes that Ciel Tower will be seen as timeless, like the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building in New York City.