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January 2017

Nassmah al Ghoussein Architecture Portfolio Academic + Professional

// Enclosed is a selection of work designed, studied, and researched throughout the academic years spent at the American University of Beirut (2008 - 2013) & the Architectural Association (2015 - 2017), as well as the professional years spent at Consolidated Contractors Company (2013 - 2015). Works included are to display the ability, creativity, and understanding of design as a tool to allow the communication of concepts, the experimentation and exploration of forms and space, the possibility of software integration and computational design, and the enhancement of practicality, productivity, diversity, and user experience.


References London Robert Stuart-Smith Director | Robert Stuart-Smith Design LTD Studio Master | AA DRL Assistant Professor | University of Pennsylvania UPENN Principle Research Associate | University College London, Computer Science E: T: +44 [0] 78 78 202 387 Theodore Spyropoulos Director | AA DRL Studio Master | AA DRL Director | Minimaforms E: T: +44 [0] 20 7887 4000

Athens Samer Khoury Director | Consolidated Contractors Company CCC President | Engineering & Construction, CCC Board of Directors | CCC Deputy Executive Chairman | CCC Reference available upon request. Issam Elabsi Manager | CCC BIM Centers Manager | IS-Automation & Engineering (BIM, GIS, & Civil) Reference available upon request.

Nassmah is a professional architect, designer, and researcher, who has lived in a number of cities in the Middle East and Europe. She received her BArch from the American University of Beirut in 2013. Her final year project was awarded the Omrania CSBE Excellence in Architecture Award, recognised among 145 entrees from 37 universities in the region. She then spent 2 years working for the Consolidated Contractors Company CCC at their HQ in Athens, in the capacity of a Junior Design Project Coordinator and BIM Engineer, before joining the AA DRL in 2015. There she worked on a yearlong design research in the field of autonomous aerial robotic 3D printing and speculative design entitled Euphorbotics, and enclosed in this document (p10). Her experiences have offered her the opportunity to ride steep learning curves, during which she worked eagerly to broaden her understanding and abilities, both personally and in relation to her field. She particularly enjoys catapulting herself out of her comfort zone as she views these experiences to be enriching and challenging - which motivate her to perform to the best of her abilities. She is an effective team-player who can also assume leadership roles when called for, and is excited to continue exploring the limits of architecture, computational design, and construction innovation wherever they may arise.

Languages English Spoken Written Arabic Spoken Written Greek Spoken Written

Nassmah al Ghoussein Architect [MArch] 2+ years of professional experience

E: T: +44 [0] 74 704 36 180 A: Flat 8, West One House 47 Wells St, W1T 3PN London, UK

Architecture; London, UK. // MArch Architecture & Urbanism; Design Research Lab (AADRL). // Research Topic: Aerial


Robotic Swarms & On-Board 3D

// Faculty of Engineering & Architecture, Department of Architecture & Design, Beirut, Lebanon.

// Overall GPA 83% // Dean’s Honor List, top 10% GPA: Fall 2009, Spring 2013. // Thesis project grade: 90.


// Completed core business courses counting toward Business Administration minor: Accounting, MIS, Business Management.

Reception, Photo Library, & AA Galleries.

// 2014 Completed the 10-day AA Athens-Istanbul Visiting School workshop in Athens

// BArch 2013.

Printing; Studio Master: Robert // Student Assistantships:

// 2015 Participated in a workshop with Imperial College for a UK Governmental Grant related to aerial robotics and on-board 3D printing.

2006-2008; International College; Beirut // High-school Diploma: GPA 86.4%; High Distinction // International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: 39/45

// 2014 Active member in the Worldwide Alumni Association of AUB & the Greek-Lebanese Cultural Union // 2013 Member of the Speaker’s Committee for TEDxAUB // 2012-2013 Member in AUB’s Talk20 Committee: photographer, coordinator, & host // 2012 Representative of AUB Architecture Dept in Lebanese Chapter of Engineers w/o Boarders

// 2016 MArch design models exhibited at Maison Mais Non Gallery in Soho, London, from September to October, and at Zaha Hadid Architects Gallery in Clerkenwell from November to December

Awards & Recognitions

// Graduate School of

2008-2013; American University of Beirut

Workshops & Memberships

2015 - 2017; Architectural Association (AA)

// 2013 First prize recipient of the Omrania CSBE Award for Excellence in Architecture in the Middle East // 2012 Finalist to the Fawzi Azar Excellence in Architecture Award // 2008-2013 Awarded full academic scholarship by Kuwait’s Ministry of Higher Education

// Trained Building Information Modeling (BIM) candidate, using AECOsim Microstation. // Junior Design Project Coordinator for the Manger Square Rehabilitation project in Bethlehem, developed by the Bethlehem Development Foundation (BDF) established by the late Mr Said T Khoury, cofounder of CCC, and under his direct supervision.

Work Experience

// Six-week dispatch as sole client representative to Beirut to collaborate with Khatib & Alami on full detail development of Manger Square.

2011; Kuwait Engineering Office International Consultants (KEO IC); AbuDhabi // 2 month internship in Architecture Department. // Detailing & producing shopdrawings for Director’s Villa.

// Drafting and 3D Modeling

// Code & Parametric Control

AutoCAD 2&3D


// 2 month internship in Urban Planning & Design Department.

3DS Max


// Participated in designing large-scale compound development in Riyadh, KSA.




2012; Solidere International; Beirut

// Actively involved in board meetings with senior architect, project manager, client representative, and financial assessment teams dealing with BOQs, BUAs, and financial feasability analysis.

2010; Saadeh-Baba Conception; Beirut // 2 month internship in Architecture & Interior Department. // Led design & execution of private apartment interior in Beirut under supervision of lead architect. // Designed interior of a sweetsshop in Denmark and a mixeduse complex in Nigeria.

// Graphics & Presentation Sketchup

Adobe Creative Suite:

Indesign, Photoshop,

Illustrator, Premier Pro

// BIM

Software Skills

2013-2015; Consolidated Contractors Company CCC; Athens

Bentley Microstation



MS Office

Bentley Navigator


// Fabrication

Laser Cutting

CNC Milling

3D Printing

Professional | p.10 2 years at CCC

2014 2015

01. Manger Square Rehabilitation & Beautification Project p.12

2014 2015

02. Manger Square Multipurpose Commercial Center p.16


03. Porto Rafti BIM Project p. 18


04. Abu Dhabi Plaza p. 22

Academic | p.40 BArch at AUB

Design Research | p.24 MArch & workshop at AA


07. Treading The Line Beirut’s Interactive Hackerspace p. 42

2016 2017

05. Euphorbotics p. 26


08. Making It p. 52


10. Souk “X” p. 56


06. Cipher City Revolutions p. 36


09. Fisherman’s Port p.54


11. The Welcoming City p. 58



The next four projects are samples of work completed during my two years at Consolidated Contractors Company. They aim to illustrate my abilities to carry a project through from its early concept phase to its construction and completion, as well as my understanding of BIM as a multi-discipline platform for modelling, cost-estimation, and scheduling.

01. Manger Square Rehabilitation & Beautification

02. Manger Square Multipurpose Commercial Center

03. Porto Rafti BIM Project

04. Abu Dhabi Plaza

01 Mager Square Rehabilitation & Beautification Project

Role: Architect, Design Project Coordinator, & Client Representative Work Experience Status: Built Palestine 2014 - 2015 This project is part of the initiative set out by the Bethlehem Developmount Foundation [BDF], which was founded by the late Mr Said Khoury, co-founder of Consolidated Contractors Company. It aims at renovating the Governorate of Bethlehemto transform it into a vibrant international tourist destination, and creating a sustainable economy and infrastructure for the city. Features of the project include retiling and planting Manger Square, introducing lighting features, green roofs, and media kiosks. Design Team: CCC BDF Khatib & Alami

Site Plan, Bethlehem

Lighting of Nativity Church

Square Design Concept

Manger Square Lighting Concept

Selected Professional Work 13

Peace Center Facade & Roof Design

Green Roof Design Concept

Selected Professional Work

Realisation of Green Roof Design


Project Realisation - Day Shot

Project Realisation - Night Shot

Selected Professional Work 15

02 Manger Square Multipurpose Commercial Center

Role: Architect, Design Project Coordinator, & Client Representative Work Experience Palestine 2014 - 2015 This design proposal is for a large plot located south of Manger Square, currently occupied by a parking-lot. It aims to accommodate the large crowds attracted to the area - particularly during holiday season - and offer recreational and shopping spaces. It contains a large staircase facing the square, leading up to the project, where from spectators can enjoy the festivities. It also contains an internal courtyard, large atrium, and open-air pathways. Design Team: CCC BDF Khatib & Alami

Site plan

Scaled Architectural Model

Project Integration & Relationship to Manger Square

Selected Professional Work 17

03 Porto Rafti Showroom BIM Microstation AECOsim Training Work Experience Greece 2015

This project was created as an exercise to practise and display the strengths and abilities of applying BIM completely to a project from conception to execution. The program is a coastal showroom in Greece to exhibit lighting fixtures. The design utilises the location of the building and orients it towards the North, with sea-facing views. The main feature is the large-span steel overhead structure, which doubles as both a shading element and an opportunity to hang and showcase lighting fixtures.

Large perforated wall blocking South sun & framing views.

Selected Professional Work 19

Development of conceptual diagram & volumetric studies

Fully developed structural and architectural BIM model

Solar Exposure Calculations

Selected Professional Work

Structural and architectural build up of design

Rendered Section


Interior Render

Exterior Night Render

Rooftop Night Render

04 Abu Dhabi Plaza

Role: BIM Model Development Work Experience Status: Under Construction Size: 500,000 m2 Cost: 1.1 Bn Kazakhstan 2015 Abu-Dhabi Plaza is a project designed by HKR Architects for ALDAR Developments, where CCC played the role of contractor (together with Arabtec) and developing a BIM model to be used for construction and during the building’s life-cycle. The project is a mixed-use residential and commercial block, designed to stand as a landmark for the city of Astana in Kazakhstan. Design Team: HKR CCC Arabtec

Top View

Images property of HKR Architects

Selected Professional Work

North Elevation

Property of HKR Architects

MEP BIM Model Development (CCC)


Design Resea

Euphorbotics is the title of the year-long research completed during my time at the Architectural Association, in partial completion of the MArch Architecture and Urbanism within the Design Research Laboratory [DRL]. Cipher City Revolutions was completed within an AA workshop done in collaboration with the National Technical University of Athens [NTUA]. Both projects look into the possibility of integrating software into the process of designing and pushing the boundaries of computational and algorithmic design.


05. Euphorbotics

06. Cipher City Revolutions


AA Design Research Laboratory Academic Research London 2015-2017 Euphorbotics is a year-long speculative design research project which forms part of Studio Robert Stuart-Smith’s research. It was conducted in participation within the EPSRC Research grant “Aerial Additive Building Manufacturing (Aerial ABM)” that investigates using multi-copters to 3D Print buildi n g s tru c tu r e s. Th e project situates aerial robotic 3d printing as a negotiation between digital and physical material composition where both require algorithmic control in order to develop a speculative design system for a prototypical house in remote mountainous terrains.

The research aims at combining three main parameters to speculate on the design of a remote mountain lodge, which is constructed w i t h e x p a n d i n g foam as a building m a t e r i a l a n d b y UAVs as a means for construction.

Utilising expandable foam as a 3d print material, deposition is difficult to predict or control due to the phase changing properties of the material. In order to produce a structurally viable design, a series of end-effectors and deposition strategies have been developed and evaluated to determine the bestsuited strategy for 3D printing with this aerial robot and in windy and mountainous terrains.

Selected Academic Work 27

Digital mesh growth

Design is undertaken in step with construction, and is developed in such a way as to ensure 3d print deposition sequences are able to be practically executed by the UAVs. The aerial robot has 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) which permit a 3-dimentional printing plane rather than the typical planar print

No. of UAVs

Planar print No. of UAVs

This generative process essentially ‘grows’ a surface using the HE-Mesh logic, which can then be mapped by numbers indicating the direction of the concentric growth. The distances between these numbers are then divided, and a continuous loop is drawn connecting all these points, thereby informing the UAVs of their print trajectory.

Digital contouring of mesh

Contouring mesh for UAV print

Physical print by UAVs 3-Dimentional print

Selected Academic Work

No. of UAVs


The surface employs techniques of undulation and ribbing, thereby increasing its geometric complexity, Vertex its structural stability which ensures all throughout its construction Halfedge phases, without theHalfedgeneed for external scaffolds. The mesh is coded with a series of functions that Vertex enable its behaviourHalfedgeand Normal Mesh Half Edge Mesh Triangle Triangle responsiveness to the construction site. Vertex

Different edge curling

Enclosing room


Growing towards a target BRIDGED MESH


Vertex (Agent)



Growing around digital volume


Vertex (Agent)

HE-Mesh Vertices with Agent Behivour



HE-Mesh growth Halfedge



Real-time scanning of the printed object enables constant structural reading and self-adjustment

Growing ribbing paths


Unstable cantilever

Neighbour Halfedge



Vertex (Agent)

Half Edge Mesh Triangle


HE-Mesh Vertices with Agent Behivour

Locally Perceived Neighbourhood




Neighbour Halfedge

0 0



0 0





Growth of support leg 1



1 2


2 2


Selected Academic Work


1 2


2 1 Calculating paths for UAV passage



Locally Perceived Neighbourhood 3-Dimentional growth


1 0

0 0

0 1


Stable structure



0 1





1 2

1 2

2 2

1 1



Cycle Illustration

Digital Growth

Aerial 3D Print

Digital Growth

Aerial 3D Print

Selected Academic Work

The construction happens in the form of a cycle, looping between the digital algorithm and the physical print. The latter is constantly scanned and the information is synthesized in the digital algorithm.


A generative design algorithm was developed to responds to real-time local conditions ranging from environmental setup, to machine constraints, to material behavior, to structural integrity. The research results in a holistic and deployable design system which situates aerial robotic printing as a negotiation between digital simulation and physical materiality, where design happens in-step with construction, and where the algorithm develops controlled structural surfaces with an inbuilt logic suitable for 3D printing with a swarm of UAVs.

Selected Academic Work 31

In an effort to prove the structural capability of expanding foam without the use of scaffolds or internal strengthening materials, this 1:1 cantilever was built to demonstrate the potential of the material once constructed using the corrugated deposition techniques.

Structural Analysis of Prototype loaded with one person:

Illustration of 3-degrees of corrugation:

Selected Academic Work

Growth of section throughout print:

Demonstration of structural integrity:



Materials Matter AA Project Review 2016

Location | Bedford Square, London

Dates | 25 June - 16 July

The Extraordinary Process Maison Mais Non

Location | Soho, London

Dates | 15 Sept - 16 Nov

Selected Academic Work

Meta-Utopia Zaha Hadid Design Gallery

Location | Clerkenwell, London

Dates | 18 Nov - Present


Selected Academic Work

Top view of coloured powder print model


Detail of coloured powder print model

West elevation of Hiker’s Lodge

North elevation of Climber’s Lodge

Selected Academic Work

Top View of both Hiker & Climber Lodges


06 Cipher City Revolutions AA Athens-Istanbul Visiting School Workshop Greece 2014

The workshop provided a wooden framework upon which participants were to add an interactive layer in order to display the piece as an installation at the National Technical University of Athens. The concept driving the installation was the creation of an elastic maze that connected certain triangles from either side of the frame to each other. Design Team: 17 International Students participated in the workshop under the mentorship of: Alexandros Kallegias Elif Erdine Dagham Cam Charalampos Doukas

The elastic bands passed through a central triangular piece, which was the average of both triangles it was connecting. This piece is then controlled via sensors and motors and is manipulated to allow the passage of a single user at a time - thus creating a kinetic structure which responds to the proximity of its user.

Selected Academic Work 37

Selected Academic Work

Diagram of placement of sensors and motor which controlled the motion of the central pieces.


Selected Academic Work 39


This next series of projects are from the years spent at the American Universtiy of Beirut, working towards my BArch Bachelor of Architecture. Treading The Line: Beirut’s Interactive Hackerspace is the FInal Year Project presented for this degree, and was awarded an Award in Excellence of Architecture by Omrania & CSBE in 2013. The projects aim at illustrating strength in conceptual design, fabrication, and well-roundedness.

07. Treading The Line: Beirut’s Interactive Hackerspace

08. Making It

09. Fisherman’s Port

10. Souk “X”

11. The Welcoming City

07 Treading the Line

Beirut’s Interactive Hackerspace Thesis & Final Year Project Lebanon 2013 This project was awarded the Omrania & Center for the Study of the Built Environment (CSBE) award for Excellence in Architecture, chosen among 150 participants across the Middle East.

Selected Academic Work

The Abstract // Four cemeteries of different religious belonging are found adjacent

// Treading the line argues: yes, death of death brings life of a different

to one another along what used to be the demarcation line of Beirut.

form: creativity in thinking, networking, and producing.

Due to their significant historical seat, they were used as firing grounds, resulting in the destruction of their graves. Of the four, two remain

// In a city with a lack of green/public spaces, and an abundance in

unattended to: the Lebanese-Jewish and WWII German cemeteries. The

architectural scarring left by the war, an invitation emerges: transforming

questions arises: what happens when the cemetery itself dies? Does

spaces of destruction into spaces of production: Beirut’s Interactive

death of death bring life?



// Original pictures taken inside the Lebanese-Jewish cemetery (2013) illustrating level of scarring, negligence, & abandonment, due to the disappearance of this community from the country after the civil war.

Selected Academic Work 45


Selected Academic Work

Image of the intact sniper position in the abandoned house.

// Integrating three rooms from the abandoned residential building, one of which contains a sniper position fully intact from the days of the civil war.

Remnants of the kitchen inside the abandoned house - bullet holes apparent.

// Using the language of “walls� to invite users into the project, discovering its pockets section by section, activity by activity.

Selected Academic Work 47

// The active “Lab” space hosts the main activities of the hackers, providing flexible spatial arrangement to fit their needs and creative setup. It is the hub connected to all segments of the project, including the exhibition spaces such as the Gallery, Theatre, and Outdoor Screening Area.

Selected Academic Work

// The outdoor exhibition space connected to the “Factory”: the making-it segment of the project. This outdoor space can host events such as markets or bazaars. The wall of the Factory is translucent and permits the reading of movement inside the volume, provoking questions and inviting users into the next section of the project.


// The Outdoor Screening Area where the projection is directed at the existing back wall of the Catholic cemetery that also contains a vertical burial segment as shown. The illuminated pattern on the main wall compliments and accentuates the projection.

Selected Academic Work

// The main path inside the cemetery is ramped downwards to reach -1.6 m below ground: a point where the eyes of the user are at the level of the names on the graves - what is left of a person after his passing - and the feet of the user are at burial level. What connects the two is the body of the user himself, a unique, eerie, and memorable experience.


// The view from within the hanging dining space: a space used for eating, eating necessary for living, but the view is that of the end of living.

Selected Academic Work

// This area is designed to seat 60 people together in a rectangular volume that is open on all sides. This is to celebrate both the food and balcony culture of Lebanon, as well as bring the various users and hackers together (a catalyst for networking and conversing).


Selected Academic Work 51

08 Making it

Model-Making & Experimentation University Seminar Lebanon 2013 This project focuses on the manufacturing of a joinery system which allows the threedimensional movement and expansion of an assembly of straight and hollow members. Design Team: Nessma al Ghoussein Rafah Farhat Diala Yehia

// Transforming the 2D scissor connection into a 3D spatial joint.

Selected Academic Work 53

09 Fisherman’s Port

Fawzi Azar Excellence in Architecture Award Design Competition - Finalist Lebanon 2012 The brief of this competition required the design of a fishermen’s hub in the center of Beirut, complete with their residential quarters, a restaurant, and market. The main concept behind this design was to first introduce the sea water into the plot, allowing for the fishing boats to enter into the heart of the site, and access parking spaces, loading docks, and a vertical boat hangar in the North-West corner of the location. The market place on the west of the plot links directly to the public corniche/ promenade of the city, and the volumetric arrangement of the design links to the old lighthouse embedded now in the city fabric. The programmatic volumes on the East are arranged in order of privacy and contain pockets of recreational spaces.

Lines of sight & design lines connected to old lighthouse. Volumes arranged in increasing height towards the city.

View from old lighthouse towards site.

Section through market in the West and restaurant and kitchen in the East. Backdrop of cascading volumetry, porous vertical boat hangar, and cityscape.

Physical model of design.

Close-up of restaurant with docking area directly linked to sea in order to load catch-of-the-day.

Selected Academic Work 55

10 Souk “X”

Model Making & Design Experimentation with Spatial and Formal Qualities University Seminar Lebanon 2011 Souk is the Arabic word for “market”, and the target of this design project is to design a particular type of market and replace the X with that characteristic. The market is to hang above the Abou Ali river in Tripoli, Lebanon. This proposal plays on the word “souk” as it can also mean the imperative verb “drive”, and is called “Souk 3a Mahlak”, meaning “Drive slowly”. The reason behind this being, the market is designed specifically to exhibit craftsmanship in Lebanon and to promote local produce, and so, users are encouraged to stroll through the market and examine the handy-work done by the artisans in the market. Design Team: Nessma al Ghoussein Bassem Chahwan Sara El Batal

Experimentation with two-dimensional trusses folding in three-dimentions:

Longitudinal unfolded section across market, displaying various programs:

Site study of Tripoli and the craftsmanship in the city:

Selected Academic Work 57

11 The Welcoming City Achrafiyye’s Affordable Housing University Seminar Lebanon 2010

The scope of this project was to speculate on the potential introduction of affordable housing in the upper-class area of Achrafiyye in Lebanon. The concept is to insert a light-weight steel structure which permits the plug-in of housing capsules measured to fit the exact space needed by a single occupant. This approach does not harm the naturally-vegetated area nor imposes severe construction onto the site. Design Team: Nessma al Ghoussein Diala Yehia


Selected Academic Work

Steel structure carries pathway which connects between the housing modules and is anchored into two abandoned buildings on site. This integrates the project into the city and rehabilitates its features to function once again.


// Thank you for your time and consideration. For any further queries, please contact me at


Nassmah al Ghoussein Architecture Portfolio Academic + Professional

Nassmah al Ghoussein portfolio 2017  
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