WHO WE ARE
NoRA (Network of Research & Architecture) is an international Architecture and Planning practice based in Amsterdam that celebrates & thoughtfully integrates Research, Experimentation and Design. As a collective of entrepreneurs, thinkers and creatives, NoRA’s goal is to use design as a tool for advancing the modern Polis in a holistic approach.
NoRA was founded in 2017 by Kaveh Dabiri, Keigo Kobayashi and Selma Maaroufi who share a common philosophy and experience of working together at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), where they collaborated on and led multiple high-profile projects through various design stages. Major accomplished works include detailed masterplans: Qatar Culture and Sports Hub; architecture: Qatar Foundation HQ in Doha, Concrete at Alserkal Avenue in Dubai; and infrastructure: Expansion strategy for the new Hamad International Airport in Doha.
NoRA champions a cross-disciplinary methodology in every project. While the core of the studio consists of architects and designers, we mobilise and facilitate the expertise of a wide ranging and dynamic network of collaborators to tailor our teams to meet the specific demands and objectives of a project and deliver the aspirations of a Client’s vision.
NoRA is focused on pressing urbanisation and social issues of our time and implements a hands-on approach to designing bespoke solutions that augment the resilience of our built environment. As the complexity of today’s challenges continues to increase, we seek to develop a comprehensive understanding of the socio-eco-cultural and political context of every project by aggregating the insights of our local sources with a critical analysis of external data. We strive for constant innovation in our disciplines through immersive research, a keen action-oriented approach to initiating projects, and an unwavering ambition towards re-thinking architectural typologies.
Keigo Kobayashi (b. Tokyo, 1978) is a licensed architect in the Netherlands and co-founder of NoRA.
Keigo joined OMA in Rotterdam in 2005 where he led the design of various buildings (hotels, offices, libraries, museums, mixed-use facilities, etc.) and urban-planning projects in several Middle Eastern and North African countries until 2012. Projects he collaborated on include the Qatar Foundation HQ building, Qatar National Library, Doha Airport Hotels and Libya Ghadames Masterplan.
Upon his return to Tokyo, Keigo co-founds and contributes to the architecture design unit IMIN until 2016. In 2014, he designs the Japanese Pavilion Exhibition of the Architecture Biennale in Venice. Since 2015, he is the director of PLAT (Platform for Architecture Thinking), an NPO that organises symposiums and architectural events in Tokyo.
Keigo is an Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture of Waseda University since 2012. He is registered at the Bureau Architectenregister (SBA) of the Netherlands and holds a Master’s Degree (MArchII) in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, USA.
Selma Maaroufi (b. Abidjan, 1979) is a licensed architect and co-founder of NoRA.
Selma’s professional journey started at RCR Arquitectes in Olot, Spain (2003-2004) where she gained experience in detailed architectural design and construction documentation on projects that include the Barcelona Library and the Winery in Peralada. She later joined One Architecture in Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2004-2009), where she led two urban projects in Paris – the GPRU Porte de Montreuil Master Plan and the Urban Study on La Défense business district in collaboration with OMA.
At OMA (2009-2017), Selma combined her architecture background with strategic planning approaches to develop large-scale districts and infrastructure hubs in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Projects she has collaborated on include the Hamad International Airport City Masterplan and Airport Expansion Strategy in Doha, Qatar; the Detailed Masterplan for the Qatar Culture and Sports Hub; the Schematic Design for the CIFCO Trading Offices HQ in Beijing, China as well as several architectural and urban design competitions in France, the UAE and Morocco.
Selma holds a Master of Architecture degree from ENSAB, the School of Architecture of Brittany in Rennes, France.
Kaveh Dabiri (b. Tehran, 1980) is a licensed architect in the Netherlands and co-founder of NoRA.
Kaveh worked at OMA in Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai branches from 2009-2017 where he acquired a broad knowledge of international architecture and master planning projects in various design and construction stages. During his eight years of experience at OMA, Kaveh was involved in over 25 projects in Europe and the MENA region. He led and completed the design for a wide range of projects in the UAE, Qatar, Egypt, Turkey and Iran, including Istanbul Courtyard Tower, Lusail Stadium Precinct in Qatar, Kish Residential Tower and most recently Concrete at Alserkal Avenue in Dubai.
Prior to joining OMA, Kaveh collaborated with Zandbelt & vanden Berg in Rotterdam, as well as Shirdel & Partners and Fardano Consulting Architects in Tehran.
He has lectured and attended as a guest critic at the American University of Sharjah and the American University of Beirut.
Kaveh is registered at the Bureau Architectenregister (SBA) of the Netherlands and holds a Master of Architecture from Azad University, Central Branch in Tehran and a MSc in Urbanism from TU Delft, the Netherlands.