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Kara, Hanif

Kara, Hanif- Adams Kara Taylor

Engineering Specialties:

Hanif Kara, structural engineer, design director and co-founder of AKT was born in Uganda and moved to London at the age of 14. Before AKT Kara held a wide range of jobs including designing North Sea oil rigs and fairground rides for Allot and Lomax, working for Anthony Hunt & Associates (where he would meet his future business partners), as well as becoming a dry-cleaning entrepreneur (1). Kara’s professional approach focuses on the incorporation of design into problem-solving and engineering, not just the physics. “Structural engineers do things in a contained, technically competent, way: they make buildings stand up. As a design engineer, you have to relax a bit more. And you can’t be afraid to use the word ‘beauty’” (2). Kara also edited a book called “Design Engineering AKT” which further explores the relationship between engineers and architects and how this relationship has evolved simulatneously with the development of information technology.

Some of Kara’s projects include the Peckham Library, the 17 time design award winning National Trust Headquarters in Swindon, and the Phaeno Science Center (collaboration with architect Zaha Hadid). Kara also holds great influence in the academic world by encouraging university students and young professionals. This has led him to a number of permanent and long-standing positions at a number of different institutions including the Pierce Anderson Lecturer in Creative Engineering at the Harvard School of Design, lecturer at the Architectural Association ,and Professor of Architectural Technology at KTH, Stockholm.

In 2008, Kara was appointed CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) commissioner, the first structural engineer to be appointed to this position. Kara is currently a member of CABE’s 2012 Olympic design review panel in London (3).


Written by Kaylyn Fenner

February 1, 2011 at 7:29 pm

Posted in Engineers

Adams Kara Taylor (AKT II)

Adams Kara Taylor (AKT II)
Main office: White Collar Factory, 1 Old Street Yard
London EC1Y 8AF, United Kingdom
Additional offices: Stevenage, U.K

Engineering Specialties:

Founded in 1995 by Robin Adams, Hanif Kara, and Albert Taylor, AKT is a design- led structural and civil engineering firm which focuses on sustainability, innovative ideas and problem solving through complex analysis, design, and an environment of unimpeded communication between contractor and client. “In order to ensure a project’s success, as a firm, we aim to harmonize its commercial, pragmatic, and constructional constraints with the more abstract notions of design aesthetics and structural interrogation” (1). With over 20 nationalities represented within the firm, the diverse demographic triggers and encourages innovative ideas from every level, position, and technical specialty, which gives AKT the ability to create “highly personalized design solutions” (1).

The company works mostly on commercial projects including office and community buildings and project of academia such as laboratories, dormitories, university buildings, and primary education buildings. One of their first projects was the Peckham Library in London which houses a branch library as well as the Southwark Council advice center.

In 2006, White young Green, a consulting company providing a range of services from engineering to management and planning acquired AKT making it a WYG group company. AKT has had large success with their newer projects as well. In 2010 the Seed Cathedral won the gold award in the large exhibits category at the Shanghai Expo and five of their other projects received RIBA awards the same year. Some of their most recent works include the Laboratory for Molecular Biology in Cambridge, Ravensbourne College, and 360 London.

Engineer Spotlight:
Alex Widdison

Angel Building Street View

Angel Building – London, UK

More AKT Projects:


Zayed National Museum, Adu Dhabi, UAE (TMetaxas2015)

Walbrook Square

Walbrook Square (Bloomberg HQ), London, UK (TMetaxas2015)

240 Black Friars

240 Black Friars Road, London, UK (TMetaxas2015)
[Building Website]

Merchant Square Foot Bridge

Merchant Square Footbridge, London, UK (TMetaxas2015)

City Life Milan

City Life Milan, Milan, Italy (TMetaxas2015)

Peckham Library, London, UK

Fawood Children’s Center, London, UK

Phaeno Science Center, Wolfsburg, Germany

Ben Pimlott Building, London, UK

Asticus Building, London, UK

360 London, London

Ravensbourne College, London, UK

Written by Kaylyn Fenner

January 25, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Posted in Engineers