In July 2007, H.E. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak visited the Paul Ricard Circuit and was very impressed by its design. Therefore, he appointed Philippe Gurdjian to take control of the design and the implementation of the Abu Dhabi Circuit.
By September 2007, Philippe Gurdjian working closely with Herman Tilke, had modified 80% of the original project to create a unique circuit in the world. This achievement will be his biggest challenge. His objective was to integrate an architectural circuit in the artistic and cultural extension of Saadiyat Island, which will see soon the most sophisticated art design like the “Louvre” created by Jean Nouvel, the “Guggenheim” by Frank Ghery and the “Maritime Museum” by Tadao Ando .
As CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management – ADMM, his mission was to develop the motorsports activities in the region, and to recruit a professional team to manage and to bring out this fabulous project.
A tight deadline facing him for the completion of the construction to be ready for the venue scheduled on November 2009.
Presented in October 2008, the project surprised the whole world by its creativity and his high tech architectural design combining a Marina, a 5 stars hotel and an ultra-innovative circuit.
In November 2009, the world of Formula 1 discovered on Yas Island, was is still today, the most incredible circuit in the world even designed.
He identified the spirit of the Emirates in searching into the architecture of the circuit; and he succeeded to create a completely advanced circuit.
The 5 stars hotel of 500 rooms, covering a part of the track and plunging into the Marina created was an exceptional architectural project in collaboration with one of the biggest American architect firm called “Asymptote”.
The second part of the project was to include in the scope a large number of technical and technological innovations.
Among the most innovative concepts, we must highlight the 1st run-off sliding along a grandstand, the Pit-lane exit pass under the track through a tunnel, a unique media centre in the world, and covered grandstands, circuit lighting and a video control room ultra-sophisticated.
The security and the safety concepts have been developed as the same ones developed on the Paul Ricard Circuit: Run-off made of asphalt abrasiveness, “Tec Pro” safety barriers, Digiflag (track fire) ...
In February 2010, he was awarded by the “Grand Prix de l’Architecture” for the Abu Dhabi Circuit concept, by the members of the jury of the 25th Festival International de l’Automobile
After the sucessful launch of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009, Philippe Gurdjian made a fantastic book about Yas Marina Circuit called "MAGIC CIRCUIT" and when he was asked where his next circuit project will take place. He replied smilling: "ON THE MOON..."
Source: Carl Gurdjian