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Senan Abdelqader

Innovative Architect and Urban Planner

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Date of Birth:



Tayibe, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Pioneering modern architectural practices in Palestine, merging contemporary design with historical context.

Brief bio

Senan Abdelqader is a renowned Palestinian architect acclaimed for his innovative approach to architecture and urban planning. His work is characterized by a deep respect for historical context while simultaneously embracing modernity and sustainability. Abdelqader’s projects often reflect a sophisticated blend of cultural heritage with contemporary design principles, making significant contributions to the architectural landscape in Palestine and beyond.

Major Milestones


  • Educational Journey: After graduating from high school, Senan Abdelqader pursued Civil Engineering at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany, before transitioning to study architecture at the University of Kaiserslautern.

  • Establishment of Senan Architects (SA): Founded Senan Abdelqader Architects in Jerusalem in 1995 and later expanded to Jaffa in 2015, establishing a reputable architectural firm recognized for its innovative design and urban planning projects.

  • Study and Transition in Germany: Senan Abdelqader's initial move to Germany to study Civil Engineering at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, followed by a transition to study architecture at the University of Kaiserslautern, marks a crucial phase in his life. This period not only shaped his foundational knowledge and skills in engineering and architecture but also exposed him to diverse architectural philosophies and practices that would influence his future work.

  • Founding of the in+Formal Research Unit: In 2006, he founded the in+Formal Research Unit at Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, offering architecture students the opportunity to critically engage with the concepts of formality and informality in architecture.

  • International Recognition: Participated in the São Paulo Biennale in Brazil in 2007, where he also published his book "Architecture of (in)Dependence," marking a significant milestone in his international engagement and contribution to architectural discourse.

  • Innovative Approach to Rural and Urban Life: Through his publication "Architecture of (in)Dependence," Abdelqader introduced innovative concepts for transforming rural Palestinian life into contemporary urban contexts, reflecting a deep engagement with the socio-cultural dimensions of architecture.

  • Leadership in Architectural Education: His role as an educator, in the Dessau Institution of Architecture (DIA) in Germany, has contributed significantly to shaping the next generation of architects, with a special focus on informal urbanism.

  • Public Platform for Planning as a Collective Act: Through his architectural practice, Abdelqader has created a public platform that views the planning process as a collective act and a space for civil practices, emphasizing community engagement in architecture.

  • Institute for the Study of Arab Culture in Arts, Design, and Architecture: In 2018, the establishment of the Institute underscored his commitment to integrating architectural practice with the study and promotion of Arab culture, enhancing the cultural depth in architectural and urban design. 

  • Engagement in Global Architectural Dialogues: His participation in various global architectural biennales and exhibitions, such as the São Paulo Biennale, positions Abdelqader as a key figure in international architectural dialogues, promoting Palestinian architecture on the global stage.

Date of Last Update: 
April 6, 2024

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