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In Profile: WSA White Space Architects

In Profile: WSA White Space Architects

WSA White Space Architects have been Shortlisted in The International Design and Architecture Awards 2023. Read more about Co-Founders & Designers Francesco Anzolin & Yasser Abuelnasr below:

Name: Francesco Anzolin & Yasser Abuelnasr

Company: WSA White Space Architects

Position within company: Co-Founders & Designers


Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc)

Francesco: Having amassed three decades of experience in architecture, I have developed a profound passion for the field and a steadfast dedication to delivering quality while upholding societal values and preserving identity. My journey began in Italy, where my innate love for architecture was nurtured from a young age. After completing my degree at the University of Naples, I immersed myself in the restoration and conservation of historical architectural treasures in Rome. Nevertheless, my unwavering ambition to witness the creation of new architectural marvels continued to propel me forward.

Driven by this insatiable longing, I ventured beyond my homeland, embarking on a new chapter filled with fresh encounters. In 2010, alongside Yasser, I took a daring leap of faith and established Whitespace Architecture. Our shared mission was clear: to showcase the harmonious coexistence of Western European and Arabic cultures, transcending geographical boundaries.

My story embodies decades devoted to architecture, fueled by an unwavering passion, vast expertise, and a visionary perspective that stretches far beyond the limits of what is known.

Yasser: As the co-founder and leader of WSA, I bring over two decades of international experience to the table. Throughout my career, I have always believed in the power of spaces to shape our lives, and I am constantly engaged in day-to-day interactions with designs that are both tangible and inspiring.

My journey in the field of architecture has been enriched by various stages of my career. Starting in my hometown of Alexandria, I worked on cultural research projects under the supervision of the World Bank. This experience laid the foundation for my appreciation of architecture and its impact on communities. In 2004, I made the move to Dubai during its period of rapid growth, exposing me to countless projects of varying scales. This immersion allowed me to develop a deep understanding of urban development and the importance of heritage preservation.

During my time in the United States, where I pursued further education and honed my skills, I gained recognition on an international level. Building upon my passion for design, I collaborated with Francesco to establish Whitespace Architects in 2010. The journey of building this company has been filled with both challenges and triumphs, always fuelled by a strong conviction to deliver and create exceptional spaces for people.

Through years of experience and dedication, I have cultivated a unique perspective on architecture and its impact on society. I am committed to using my expertise to continue shaping the world around us in meaningful and transformative ways.

How would you describe your personal design style?

Francesco: Rationale synthetic contemporary.

Yasser: My design style can be described as “Beauty in form, value in function.” I aim for clean and minimalist aesthetics while prioritizing usability and serving the needs of the users. Sustainability and flexibility are also essential considerations in my designs.

Where does your design inspiration come from?

Francesco: From nature.

Yasser: My design inspiration comes from nature and human experiences. I draw on the beauty of natural elements and the insights gained from observing how people interact with their surroundings to create meaningful and functional designs.

In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?

Francesco: In a general sense, I feel that design is progressively moving towards the realm of mathematic parametric direction.

Yasser: In a general sense, design is moving towards a strong focus on digital integration and the increasing use of AI. This includes user-friendly digital solutions and AI-powered tools that enhance user experiences and streamline design processes.

Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2022 and beyond.

Francesco: Nature, space, feeling, material, time.

Yasser: Sustainability, Digital Transformation, User-Centricity, Inclusivity and Accessibility, AI Integration

If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to design schemes, what would it be?

Francesco: Proportions play a foundational role in design, whether it’s in architecture, interior design, or any creative endeavour. By considering proportions, you ensure that elements relate to each other in a coherent and visually appealing manner.

Yasser: Keep your design schemes simple and efficient while paying close attention to the details. This approach creates a focused and intuitive user experience that is both visually appealing and highly functional.

How important are The International Design & Architecture Awards?

Francesco: The International Design & Architecture Awards hold significant importance within the design and architecture industry. These awards serve as a platform for recognizing and celebrating exceptional design achievements on a global scale. Several key reasons highlight their importance.

Yasser: The International Design & Architecture Awards are crucial for designers and architects as they offer significant exposure and recognition within the industry. Winning or being nominated can elevate a designer’s reputation, attract new opportunities, and inspire further creativity in their work.

What projects are you currently working on?

Francesco: Bugatti club.

Yasser: Currently, we are working on various residential projects across the city.

What was your favourite project to work on and why?

Francesco: Grappa Nardini.

Yasser: Every project is important and should be taken seriously. Each opportunity to create a building or design space carries unique significance and deserves dedicated attention.

What was your most challenging project to work on and why?

Francesco: Design projects can vary greatly in terms of complexity, client expectations, budget constraints, site conditions, and more. Each project demands careful consideration, innovation, and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Yasser: The most challenging project I worked on was the Masdar City Small Square Project, primarily due to the high sustainability standards it demanded. Achieving a harmonious balance between functionality, aesthetics, and eco-conscious design required meticulous planning and coordination, making it a rewarding endeavour with a lasting impact on sustainable urban development.

Which products/services could you not live without when designing?

Francesco: Paper pencil and black marker.

Yasser: A pencil  

What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?

Francesco: Finish the construction of my house

Yasser: Continue growing and improving.

Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself and your daily inspirations:

Your most treasured possession?

Francesco: My family.

Yasser: Artwork

Your favourite holiday destination?

Francesco: Snowboarding holiday.

Yasser: Spain

Your favourite hotel, restaurant & bar?

Francesco: Alpen Tesitin (Italian Dolomiti).

Yasser: The address downtown Dubai

Your favourite book, film & song?

Yasser: The prophet by Jabran Khalil Jabran,

The god father part 1,

Jazz music.

Your favourite food and drink?

Francesco: Pasta and red wine.

Yasser: Steak and espresso.

Your favourite way to spend an afternoon?

Francesco: Just relax and research.

Yasser: In the office thinking about the projects

If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?

Francesco: Impossible to think me on a different position.

Yasser: A Designer 

WSA White Space Architects

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