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        The mix of ornate heritage buildings and cutting-edge, contemporary architecture in her hometown of Porto influenced Sneha Divias’ choice of profession at an early age.

        The daughter of immigrant parents who moved to Portugal in 1974 from Mozambique, the young Divias often accompanied her father on site visits as part of his real estate business.

        “Summer breaks were divided between time spent in my father’s office, where I saw buildings materialise from drawings, and travelling to exotic places with my parents,” says Divias. “My interest in art and design comes from my highly creative Indian-born mother.”

         After studying architecture at the Lusiada University of Porto, Divias took an interior design course at New York University.

        A stint with Atelier Nini Andrade Silva in Lisbon saw her tackle boutique hotels and high-end residential projects, before a move to Dubai in 2013, where the city’s breadth of architectural ambitions made an immediate impact on the young architect.

        In a market cluttered with ersatz and pastiche, her projects have made an immediate impact with their timeless style. Focused on natural materials such as stones and wood, with metal accents and subtle patterns, her work is imbued with a strong sense of geometry.

        “I like to balance out the use of materials so that the overall composition remains neutral. It’s largely about steering clear of doing too much when it comes to visual stimulation,” she says of her work so far.

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