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REAL ESTATE - INTERVIEW

Interview with Principal Architect Mark Nasrallah, Founder and President of Nasrallah Architectural Group from Orlando

The dream of every student studying architecture is to work next to a world-renowned architect and then to establish his or her own architecture firm. I talked with Mark Nasrallah, who has succeeded on this road, about his career.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Mark Nasrallah

Mark Nasrallah

REAL ESTATE - INTERVIEW

by Meryem Aksoy

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The abilities of architects are more than their specializations. An architect, who has chosen to specialize in residential projects, does not keep himself or herself away from different commercial projects. Many architects, who specialized in residential projects, love to design different commercial projects such as office buildings, schools, libraries, and campus buildings. Custom small and large residential projects create most of the portfolio of Mark Nasrallah, but he also prefers to taking part in commercial projects such as restaurant and office buildings. Since its founding in 1983, Nasrallah Architectural Group has been serving its clients in all kinds of architectural subjects. I talked with Mark Nasrallah about his career and the basics of residential projects.

Mark, before talking about architecture, could you tell us about yourself? Who is Mark Nasrallah except for your architectural career?

In my spare time, I try to take time to be with my family. I enjoy any kind of outdoor activity and being on the water. I also race historic Porsches with the Porsche Club of America.

Could you tell us about your educational life and professional career? Why did you decide to establish your own firm?

I attended the University of Florida and graduated in the year of economic downturn. I was lucky enough to be hired as one of the original team for Don Evans group who was a world-renowned architect. After working for him I decided to try out the commercial side of architecture and started at HCP. Once I finished there I decided it was in my general nature to be a leader, teacher, and innovator that could help associates further their careers so I founded the Nasrallah Architectural group.

Nasrallah Architectural Group

Nasrallah Architectural Group

Could you tell us about Nasrallah Architectural Group and your team?

Our team is small and culturally diverse. We pride ourself on having a team that can bring vast amounts of experience and lessons to the table from around the world.

What type of projects does Nasrallah Architectural Group specialize in?

Custom residential small and large. Unique commercial projects including restaurants, specialized office buildings, and themed projects.

Nasrallah Architectural Group - Spanish Colonial Lake Nona

Nasrallah Architectural Group - Spanish Colonial Lake Nona

How could you define your architectural approach?

We look at all aspects of the project including the client needs, style, and function of the building, creativity, budget, and location.

What are the advantages of being an Award-Winning architect? Could you tell us about the awards that you won?

We have received many awards. However, it is more important to us as a firm that our clients are satisfied with the outcome of their project.

Nasrallah Architectural Group

Nasrallah Architectural Group

Do you still make cardboard models and hand sketches for your projects? Or are all project digitized in every stage?

We mix old school hand renderings with new technology. All of our projects begin with hand sketches because we feel it gives the client a better connection to the project. Then we progress into Computer Aided Design (CAD) for construction documents.

What are the main steps of residential projects? How many months does it take to complete an average residential project?

It depends on the size and complexity of the project. We have had projects that take anywhere from 6 months to 3 years. It also depends on how busy the firm is.

Nasrallah Architectural Group

Nasrallah Architectural Group

What are the most important factors that affect project cost?

My design pen and what I do with it.

Do you offer turnkey projects? At which steps should your client have to be next to you after the first moment of the project?

Yes. Depending on the client and their needs it will affect the amount of time that they spend next to us.

Is it possible for abroad clients to work with you for their projects in their countries?

Yes. Many of our projects are for clients all over the world.

Nasrallah Architectural Group

Nasrallah Architectural Group

What should your clients decide before contacting you? What is your first question in your first meeting with a new client?

Their overall project goals and budget.

“tell me about your project”

How would you describe the architectural culture in Orlando? Where is the most popular location for new residential projects in Orlando?

Diverse. It depends on the size and budget of the project.

What would you recommend to customers who want to work with an architect to build or redesign their home?

First and foremost verify that the designer is a licensed architect and not just a residential designer. Second, look at the type of work the architect has done in the past to see what they excel at and what their limitations might be. This will help in deciding if that architect is the best fit for you.

Nasrallah Architectural Group

Nasrallah Architectural Group

You have lots of completed and in-progress projects. Which one is your favorite?

There are too many to list as I enjoy each unique project that we take on.

In your opinion, what is the relation between Low Budget - Short Project Time - High Quality? Is it possible to combine all in one project?

Those three things are very hard to acquire in the same project. It is possible to achieve all three but it all depends on the project parameters. Typically smaller homes come closer to achieving it.

Nasrallah Architectural Group

Nasrallah Architectural Group

What is the best advice you have received, and what advice would you give to young architects?

I received it and now I pass it along, “listen to your client and be willing to learn from them”

How can our readers follow Nasrallah Architectural Group?

You can follow us on our website, Facebook (@NasrallahArchitecturalGroup) or Instagram (@nasrallaharchitecturalgroup)

What is coming up next for you?

The continuation of my career and the many great projects to come.

Thank you Mark for your time.

For more information, please click here to visit the website of Nasrallah Architectural Group





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