From a single, humble office in Los Angeles to its current state as a regional leader operating out of Riyadh, USSBC Platinum member Interactive Development Company (IDC) utilizes its global cultural experiences to offer unique design services. The Council spoke with Mr. Jacques Chammas, CEO of IDC, about the company’s beginnings, achievements, and future ambitions in our latest Member Spotlight.
IDC prides itself in providing ‘one-stop-shop’ solutions to its clients. Could you describe some of your services and the process in which you offer your services?
IDC was established in 1985 in Los Angeles as a design firm where we primarily offered master planning, architecture, engineering, energy analysis, and interior design for corporate and residential clients. While we still offer these services today, we pride ourselves in providing a one-stop-shop solution for clients which we refer to as “design and build.” Our first major project to implement this concept was a restaurant in Long Beach, California and many more projects have followed since.
What makes IDC different from its competitors is that we transitioned from a strictly design background into a design and build firm, in addition to the fact that we operate our own construction and fit out teams and maintain support offices in the U.S. and Europe.
IDC was founded in Los Angeles but is currently headquartered in Riyadh. Could you speak more about how you were established and your transition into the Kingdom?
While in Los Angeles, we were contacted by a young Saudi architect studying at UCLA to design three villas in his family compound in Riyadh. That project, along with several other planned projects spanning the globe, ignited our transition into the Kingdom. We transferred our staff from our Los Angeles office to Saudi Arabia and Spain to be closer to our clients. In 2008, we moved our remaining staff in Spain to our Riyadh location where activities were flourishing.
Saudi Arabia has undergone a dramatic architectural shift throughout the last few decades and now showcases some of the most modern architectural designs in the region. What role did IDC play in that transformation? What are some of your most notable projects in the Kingdom?
The transformation and the modernization of Saudi Arabia was always a core goal of the government, and Vision 2030 has facilitated this process. To meet the newly set standards of Vision 2030, IDC modernized its structure, educated and trained its staff, and provided the necessary tools to enable IDC to provide its clients with superior services.
Some of our most notable achievements include designing Saudi Electricity Co.’s headquarters in Riyadh, partaking in the design and build of the Maraya Theater in Al Ula, and designing the Saudi Central Bank’s state of the art Cash Center in Dammam.
Saudi Arabia is currently witnessing a construction boom across many sectors. What is your current strategy to keep up with the pace of development in the Kingdom?
IDC’s previous marketing strategy relied on referrals from existing clients and word of mouth pertaining to the company’s reputation. To take advantage of the new construction boom, we are moving into a more aggressive strategy by creating a business development department and using new marketing techniques, including but not limited to digital marketing.
Where else in the world does IDC operate? How has that cultural experience shaped your approach in providing engaging, culturally relevant designs? What are some of your most notable international projects?
As of today, IDC only operates in Saudi Arabia. However, having worked in different parts of the world, we have gained a greater understanding of the various cultures and design styles. Our sister company in the United Arab Emirates provided project management services for the Waldorf Hotel project in Ras Al Khaimah and interior design services for the Sheraton Hotel Tbilisi in Georgia. Meanwhile, our sister company in Spain provided design and project management services for the Beschinar Compound in Uzbekistan and the Costa Brava residence in Spain and provided design and build services for the Divonne Villa and Residences in France.
When seeking potential U.S. clients, does IDC prioritize providing its services to U.S. companies looking to build in the Kingdom, in the U.S., or both?
Currently, we are focused on the Saudi market, but future plans to revive the U.S. office are on the drawing boards.