March 19, 2019
by: AIA New York
Courtesy of Hana Kassem.
Courtesy of Hana Kassem.

AIA New York is delighted to welcome Hana Kassem, AIA, LEED AP, Principal at KPF, to the Chapter’s Board of Directors. Kassem will replace Heidi Kippenhan, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, who has stepped down from the Board as she will be relocating out of state. We wish Kippenhan all the best and thank her for her years of service as a board member and as an energetic co-chair for the AIANY Cultural Facilities Committee.

Hana Kassem, AIA, LEED AP, is an active member of AIANY, having served as co‐chair of the AIANY Global Dialogues Committee for three years, during which time the committee was awarded the AIANY VP Citation for Public Outreach. She initiated and continues to organize an annual panel for women in architecture and construction entitled Leaning Out, now in its seventh year. Kassem is also co‐editor of the collection of essays Architect d.b.a | On Redefining the Roles of the Architect Today, published through a grant by AIANY. She has also fostered dialogue and exchange on design at KPF, initiating the KPF Show & Tell, a bimonthly, in‐house exhibition of current firm projects, as well as the KPF Design Cloud, which hosts short anonymous design competitions open to all KPF employees globally.

Kassem joined KPF in 2001 and leads design teams on a variety of project typologies both domestically and internationally. She has special expertise in designing for the unique needs of research, academic, and institutional projects, with a focus on how to foster community through the built environment. As Senior Designer for the CUNY Advanced Science Research Centers in New York City, Kassem developed a symbiotic relationship between the complex’s laboratory and social spaces, driving multidisciplinary collaboration through “positive collisions” between Kassem is also skilled at blending sustainable and resilient design with a sensitivity to context. Her work on the NYCHA Red Hook Houses Sandy Resiliency and Renewal Program in Brooklyn exemplifies this approach, introducing new infrastructure and landscape strategies that mitigate the risks of future natural disasters while improving livability through community spaces. Kassem has extensive experience working in China. She was Design Director on the high-profile Crystal Plaza, a 393,000-square-meter, mixed‐use development in Shanghai. Currently, she is leading the design on the west block of the Asian Games 2022 Officials’ Village in Hangzhou.

Prior to joining KPF, Kassem worked at firms including Alvaro Siza Architect and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners. Kassem is a member of the Van Alen Institute’s Board of Trustees, chairing the Nominating Committee. Over the years, Kassem has served as guest critic at Pratt, Parsons, RISD, The Cooper Union, Columbia University, and Yale, and as guest lecturer at Cornell University, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania. She also teaches part-time at Parsons School of Constructed Environments.


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