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Turkish architecture in the Netherlands


Hüsnü Yeğenoğlu is a Turkish architect who lives in Amsterdam. He is a member of different organizations / associations: Chamber of Architects, Amsterdam Aesthetics Committee (he was a member of Welstand for six years), The Netherlands Architecture Fund (he was a member for 4 years), Raad voor Cultuur (he became a member in 2010).


In the Netherlands 'Turkish architecture' is applied to projects concerning mosques. The majority of these projects look like copies of classic mosques in Turkey (Westermoskee project in Amsterdam). A new generation of architects with Turkish origins, takes charge of mosque buildings or other building projects related to religion (Poldermoskee / Ergun Erkoçu, Muslim Cemetery / Furkan Köse).

Han Tümertekin’s Mimarlar Tasarim office is based in Istanbul and completed several projects in Amsterdam.


Turkish Architects, Dutch students of Turkish origin or the growing number of students coming from Turkey, study in Dutch universities (albeit limited numbers) and teach there. Information on this subject can be obtained from TU Eindhoven and TU Delft. Professors Ihsan Bilgin and Murat Tabanlıoğlu are involved with the University of Amsterdam.

The NAi organizes a debate in collaboration with Arkitera in 2010. The director, dhr. Omer Kanipak, visited NAi in 2010 thanks to the HGIS – visitors program. The curator international, dhr. Chris Luth, is responsible for the content and organization of the debate.

In 2004 (18 September-13 November) ARCAM, an architectural organization with a focus on Amsterdam, organized an exhibition about contemporary Turkish architecture: 'Turkey Today', with contemporary Turkish architecture both in Turkey and in the Netherlands. ARCAM also made a publication wherein an overview was given of modern Turkish architectural buildings built in Turkey and in the Netherlands, which together are representative of architectural developments from 1980 to the present day. As part of the ARCAM project on Turkey, Han Tümertekin was invited to give a lecture in De Brakke Grond theatre on October 25th. This Turkish architect was included in the exhibition. On November 6th, the annual Museumnight was also devoted to Turkey, combining the possibility for the audience to see the exhibition with getting insight in other aspects of Turkish culture. Aim of the project as a whole was to present contemporary Turkish architecture within the context of both regional, national and global developments.

The PDF file about the activities at ARCAM can be found through the following links.


A project initiated by Dus Architects was a temporary summer hotel Gecekondu, opened in 2009 on the Arcam Island in Amsterdam. The hotel was built of so-called ‘turkentassen’ (Turkish bags) and was a plea for spontaneous and informal use of the city. Therefore there was a whole program dedicated to themes related to informal building. 


Atelier PUUUR was founded in 2004 by M. Arch. Furkan Köse. The office is involved in various projects from research projects to building commissions, from interior design to urban challenges. PUUUR (PURE) stands for the purity of a design, at all scales in the design process. The details are as important as the context in which the building stands.

Atelier PUUUR has carried out many projects for the Turkish community in Holland: a hamam in Amsterdam, a Nederlands Islamitisch Cultureel Instituut in Amsterdam, a Turks Cultureel Centum in Doetinchem (planned to be build in 2010) and even a teahouse pavilion.

In 2008 PUUUR, and Furkan Köse together with F. Annet Bakels were involved in the project ‘Het gebouw, toekomst van de dood’ in which wishes of Dutch inhabitants with diverse cultural backgrounds regarding future burial or remembrance sites in the Netherlands were explored. Students of the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht (HKU) and the Meerstroom College in Utrecht expressed their ideas on this topic in the exhibition The future of death (De Toekomst van de Dood) at Het Gebouw, a exhibition paviljoen of BEYOND, the art plan for the Utrecht district Leidsche Rijn. De HKU students were supported by the design offices of Annet Bakels, Hollandsblauw, Furkan Köse, atelier PUUUR and Yusuf Kho, who were also responsible for the exhibition design. The exhibition traveled to St. Bavokerk in Haarlem and Het Gebouw of BEYOND. www.beyondutrecht.nl/index2.php?nav=3&gebouw&geweest&id=24


DP6 Architectuur

For the building of an elderly center in Haarlem, research has been conducted under Turkish elderly. Based on this research a building has been designed by the DP6 architectural studio which answers to the wishes of the Turkish elderly, but is also flexible enough to accommodate other elderly people.


In May 2009, Architectural historicist Christian Welzbacher and architects Hüsnü Yegenoglu, Wilfried van Winden and Paul Böhm had a debate about the origins and visual language of Islamic architecture in Western Europe, with a focus on mosque building. Eventually the questions that resulted from the debate and may need further discussion were whether the architectural design of mosques needs to get a generic quality and should focus on the religious experience instead of copying cultural relics like the minaret and the dome, whether the architecture of a mosque should create a link with the Western reality of Europe, or whether the architect should be submissive to the commissioner and answer to his wishes of keeping the identity. The debate was held at the Nai and lead by Martien de Vletter.


Ergün Erkoçu has a Dutch mother and a Turkish father and grew up in The Hague. He graduated from the TU Delft and set up his own architectural bureau under the name CONCEPT0031. The bureau organizes debates, expositions and other activities. Ergün Erkoçu also wrote the book The Mosque about political, economical and societal transformations.


 Gökçen T. van Vliet - Temelci graduated from the Istanbul Technical University, and started doing her PhD in architecture. In 2001 she moved to Holland, and has worked there for several bureaus in Rotterdam and Delft. For these jobs she lead several projects, wherein she was responsible in all processes for designing a building, from the drawing of the concept to the definitive design.