Front facade detail, The School of Sufi Teaching, London

Nevine Nasser

Artist statement

Nevine’s work focusses on exploring the relationship between sacred architecture and spiritual experience. During her doctoral studies at The Prince's Foundation School Of Traditional Art she developed a methodology for designing transformative contemporary sacred spaces and for aligning an architect’s creative and spiritual practices through creating a contemporary Sufi community centre - The School of Sufi Teaching in Bethnal Green, London.

During the course of her studies, Nevine attempted to reclaim the transformative power of classic examples of Islamic sacred architecture in a way that transcended notions of typology, location, time, style and scale. By undertaking extensive field work and drawing on multi-disciplinary sources, she examined the metaphysical and ontological roots of the universal principles and practices embodied by these iconic buildings with a view to transfer this knowledge to smaller-scale contemporary contexts such as the Sufi centre. Her approach was underpinned by direct engagement, collaboration and a willingness to examine her own spiritual and creative practices and experiences, a process that eventually led to her own transformation as an architect.

Her thesis explored relationships between the imagination, the spiritual heart, spiritual interpretation and Divine energy in the process of creating designs that conform to a Divine order. At the same time, she reflected on the challenges faced by architects creating sacred architecture whilst responding to practical building issues and planning regulations. She sought to resolve these issues by developing a spiritually-focussed approach to creativity that allowed new views of existing principles to unfold in the act of interpretation. Nevine found that in order to create transformative sacred spaces, architects would benefit from cultivating their own capacity for transformation.


Nevine Nasser

Nevine is a London-based architect and film-maker interested in the transformative quality of architectural space. After completing her architectural degree at Cairo University, Nevine moved to the UK and worked with various world-class architectural firms for many years until her thirst for a more holistic approach to architecture changed the course of her life. She undertook a masters degree in sustainable architecture, got involvement in community-led and knowledge transfer projects, and eventually completed a practice-based doctorate at The Prince's Foundation School Of Traditional Art. Through her creative practice and academic work, Nevine is continuously exploring the relationships between sacred space and spiritual experience, spiritual and creative practice, traditional and contemporary design, in a quest to find a more integrated way of life.



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