French-born architect Annabel Karim Kassar has developed an international expertise in Architecture and Interior Design since founding her architectural practice in Paris in 1994. She now has offices in Beirut, Dubai and London.

Annabel Karim Kassar has been credited with breathing new life into the Middle East’s most creative capital, Beirut. In the mid 90’s, she was declared winner in a competition for the reconstruction of the city’s souks. She is also responsible for creating some of Beirut’s hottest venues, Momo at the Souks with Mourad Mazouz, Strange Fruit and Balima.

She is currently working on completing major architectural projects in Lebanon and UAE among which Al Zorah pavilion, a landmark overlooking the mangrove of Ajman and winner of the German Design Council 2014 Architecture Iconic Awards, and a Golf club in Ajman.

The ongoing interior projects range from hospitality to residential with : Almaz by Momo, restaurant in JBR, UAE and different interiors in Paris and London.

Alongside her architectural practice, Annabel Karim Kassar has created Caï-light, a company dedicated to Lighting Design.


AKK, Annabel Karim Kassar’s architecture practice, was founded in 1994 in Beirut. Currently with offices in Beirut, Dubai (Annaka fzco) and London, AKK works internationally on commercial, industrial, hospitality and residential projects providing full architecture, interior design furniture design and lighting design for both the public and private sectors.

AKK architects have 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 craftsman and 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 then a style.

In 1994, AKK architects was declared joint winner with Valode and Pistre for the Ideas’ Competition for the Souks Reconstruction in Beirut, Lebanon; which was followed by a project for a multiplex development in the Solidere Area. While establishing her offices there, Annabel 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. More recently Kassar 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. More recently their project the Cultural Centre Al Zorah Pavilion in Ajman won the 2014 Iconic Award in Germany and they are currently working on a Golf Club (architecture, 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.


Downtown Beirut Souks Reconstruction Competition 1994

2014 Arab Property Award for Best Architecture

2014 German Design Council Iconic Award

Shortlisted for 2015 WAN Awards

Iconic Awards 2015

London Design Biennale 2016 1st Prize

London Design Biennale Medal 2016

Nominated for the AD Design Awards 2022


Evening Standard


L’Orient Le Jour


Harper’s Bazaar

Gulf Today


L’Architecture D’Aujourdhui


GQ Middle East

AD Middle East

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