Annabel Karim Kassar is an award-winning French-Lebanese architect, designer, and artist. She graduated as a DPLG architect from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris. Founder of AKK Architects with offices in Milan, Beirut and Dubai, her team has developed masterplans for commercial, cultural and historical residential buildings as well as interiors for office spaces, bars, clubs and restaurants, including elements of its own unique furniture and lighting collections. Annabel Karim Kassar has lived and worked across the globe, notably in France, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, China, Great Britain and the U.A.E.  With her ability to work within different cultures, Annabel has extensive experience with international projects of diverse functions. Annabel believes the emotional, humanistic approach to designing interior spaces found in traditional cultures still has much to teach the modern world. Her fearless choices of aesthetic associations, combined with her constant practice of modernist architecture defines her unique approach, which has garnered international recognition. Unburdened by trends and norms, she brings this particular vision and talent to all of her architectural projects as well as her furniture designs.


In April 2024, Annabel’s Travelling, a sensory installation in Milan, will open for Salone del Mobile, a four-storey London townhouse renovation, two restaurants for the Rixos 5-star hotel chain Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and The Al Zorah Golf Club in Ajman, UAE.


In February 2024, Annabel Karim Kassar was a jury member of the Cairo Design Award, Egypt’s foremost platform for awarding design excellence.  In May 2023, AKK designed her first U.S. project with the new Ella Funt restaurant-bistro in New York’s East Village capturing the essence of the original  1940’s Club 82. In June 2022, AKK unveiled a large-scale installation entitled The Lebanese House: saving a home; saving a city, at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London that explored the reconstruction of Beirut after the 2020 explosion and coincided with the London Festival of Architecture of summer 2022.

In 2020, Annabel began collaborating with the Italian pioneer of unique and functional furniture, Moroso, to design a collection called Salon Nana launched in Milan in September 2021.


AKK Architects, Annabel Karim Kassar’s architectural practice, was founded in 1994 in Lebanon. Currently with offices in Milan, Beirut and Dubai (Annaka fzco), AKK Architects works internationally on commercial, industrial, hospitality and residential projects providing full architecture, interior and furniture design as well as lighting design for both the public and private sectors. AKK’s architecture combines a modernist aesthetic with a strong accent on the local craftsmanship of each project’s location. Her career has been devoted to exploring the frontier between visible and invisible, removing private spaces from their usual intimate settings to exposed areas of a house, as well as bridging traditional forms with edgy lines.

AKK Architects has focused in recent years on creating an architectural space that allows its inhabitants to witness modern structures and ornamental elements coexisting organically. By using cutting edge technology to create kinetic ceilings to collaborating with craftsmen/women who bring their century old technique to projects, AKK Architects frees its architecture from having to choose between conviviality and aesthetic rigor. Design is more a process than a style.

While establishing her offices there, Annabel Karim Kassar was responsible for creating some of the city’s hottest venues, including Strange Fruit (1990), a movie theatre that was metamorphosed into an after-hours chill out space, and which stood out amongst the rest in Beirut’s night scene. Annabel designed three more venues Momo at the Souks (2009), Balima (2009) and Bali Balima (2011). She has also worked on the interior design of several housing projects of traditional Ottoman Villas.

In 2006, Annabel opened AKK Dubai Office, where they designed the Almaz restaurants in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Currently, AKK Architects are working on the Al Zorah Golf Club, including not only the architecture of the project but also interiors and lighting.


In the spring of 1998, AKK joined lighting designer Christophe Hascoet and architect Isabelle Rolland to set up a new concept for lighting the traditional Lebanese house. The outcome of this collaboration was the successful production of light installation at the Souks Entertainment Center. In 2002, the trio formalized their design relationship with the creation of CAI LIGHT.


German Design Awards 2016: Communication Design Fair and Exhibition or Camera Chiara Pavilion

German Design Awards 2016: Communication Design Architecture for Al Zorah Pavilion

London Design Biennale 2016 1st Prize Most Exceptional Design Contribution for Mezzing
in Lebanon

Iconic Awards 2015 Interior Hospitality for Almaz JBR by Momo

Iconic Awards 2015 Architecture Event/Exhibition for the Camera Chiara Pavilion

WAN Awards 2015 Camera Chiara Shortlisted, Temporary Spaces Award 2015

Prix de l’ACEtylène 2014 Nomination “Projet Coups de Cœur” for the Souk Entertainment Center

Iconic Awards 2014 Architecture for the Al Zorah Pavilion

International Property Awards 2010 Best Architecture Project for Al Zorah Pavilion

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L. 350mm  w. 350mm  h. 825mm

L. 350mm  w. 350mm  h. 1240mm


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