In the complex trade of architecture and construction, you are never alone. And behind every great building there is a strong team of professionals combining their expertise.
Hanif Kara OBE is a structural engineer and one of the founders of AKT II, one of the top engineering firms in the world. Based in London, he has been closely collaborating with some of the world’s most innovative architects, including Grafton Architects, David Chipperfield, Norman Foster, BIG, Zaha Hadid, Thomas Heatherwick, and many more.
Notable projects include the Kingston University Town House by Grafton Architects, the Bloomberg HQ by Foster + Partners and the Peckham Library by Will Alsop, all recognized with the RIBA Stirling Prize, and the recently completed Twist Museum by BIG, LSE Marshall Building by Grafton Architects, and 404 One Park Drive by Herzog & de Meuron.
As the firm turns 25 years old, we had the opportunity to sit down with Hanif at the AKT II offices in the White Factory in London, to discuss the relation between architecture and engineering, how technology is blurring the boundaries, and what it means to build in a sustainable way in the developed and developing world. We took distance to see how over centuries architecture and engineering have evolved alongside each other, and how today they collaborate to deal with the challenges of the built environment.
Hanif, recently recognized with the Order of the British Empire and the Fazlur R. Khan Lifetime Achievement Medal of the CTBUH, has always been building bridges. A longtime professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, he has recently edited a book on CLT together with Jennifer Bonner, and worked on a design build project together with OFIS. He is also a member of the steering committee of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, connecting the architects who are making an impact in muslims communities across the world, with a strong focus on the Global South.
The works from the 25 years of the firm have been recently compiled in a new book published by Architangle “AKT II: Matters of Engineering Design.”
See all projects by AKT II on their profile at ArchDaily.