Can we first recognize you and 4M Salalı Architecture? Can you talk about your projects and design processes?
I was born in 1994 in Ankara as the only child of an architect father and a civil engineer mother. After graduating from TED Ankara College in 2012, I took my first step from the academic point of view to the architectural world in which I was actually born. I started my undergraduate education at Politecnico di Milano, using my university preference for the Italian school, which has influenced me in design and architecture for years. Here numerous workshops I attended completing’m undergraduate and graduate education During my in various countries around the world and the majority in Milan, including Italy’s different experiences I have gained working in architectural offices in the city, I decided to turning assessment Turkey. Of course, in this decision, being a second generation architect and Istanbul has a serious importance.
4M Salalı Architecture was born as a result of my corporate identity change following the graduation of 4M Architecture, founded by my father Salih Z. Salalı in 1986. The real change here is to combine over 30 years of professional experience with a new generation design approach.
Our offices in Ankara and Istanbul in Turkey and the world as well as our ülkelerindekiproje participating in various national and international competitions “architectural design competition” we continue the culture.
How many people are in your team? Can you tell us about your team structure?
We currently have a team of 30 people, 25 in our Ankara office and 5 in our Istanbul office. Our Ankara and Istanbul offices are constantly connected. I have a single-center structure with two partners, mainly in Ankara and my father in Istanbul.
You are signing many projects abroad. Can you tell us about your work going on abroad?
Yes, in addition to our ongoing projects in many cities in Turkey as well as in the Middle East and the Slavic countries, and we have completed many projects in the design stage. We often travel to Erbil and Baghdad now because many of our projects are under construction.
You produce projects with different typologies and scales. How did you create these different potentials?
In fact, a significant part of this potential is due to the fact that two generations manage the office together. With different interests and experiences, we are able to master different typologies and scales.
Can we get your opinions on the importance of environmental sensitivity and sustainability in your architectural design decisions?
Since Politecnico di Milano is a “technical” university in Italy, I have often come across with sustainability and environmental awareness that Europe has been focusing from good to good in recent years. So I chose sustainability for both of my theses. I am still working on this subject. In this way, we have made the issue of sustainability intertwined with architecture more and more common in our architectural design decisions.
What are the differences between doing projects in Turkey do projects abroad? How do you describe your relationship with the ground and the built environment when designing your projects? How do you steer this relationship? And how do you feed this relationship, especially when designing projects abroad?
First of all, architectural understanding is very different. As a result, architecture is a very intertwined profession. When the lifestyles, cultures and demands of the people you are dealing with change, design is shaped in that direction. Of course there’s a fine line. Since architectural design in a culture always moves in the same direction, rather than keeping up with the current blindly, our projects, which bring the society together with an innovative design with an innovative approach by taking the user into consideration, are always more successful. Our main goal is to produce projects that will be exemplary abroad.
As 4M Salalı Architecture, you are undertaking many projects in different typologies, one of which is housing projects. As architect, what is the definition of the concept of contemporary housing? What criteria should a contemporary house contain, what aesthetic concerns should it carry?
At one point, housing is the most sensitive area of architecture because it is where people call it “home, and spend most of their time. The slightest design decision that you make affects the lives of hundreds of people, sometimes thousands of people, every day in every project. I think that there is no clear definition of contemporary housing concept. Because, as I mentioned before, it is a typology that shows serious differences from user to user, from culture to culture. What may be right for one society may not be for another. But the conditions that should be common to all contemporary housing can be said to provide social, ecological and economic sustainability.
Can you tell us a little bit about your work and recent projects?
Recently, we are very active in the Middle East market. Planning in such developing cities is very important, everyone working on such projects should be aware of this responsibility. For this reason, we prefer to deliver most of our projects at the point of urban design and carry on to our interior design. Of course, this kind of work requires a very serious team spirit. Unfortunately, projects that do not follow a holistic approach are quite numerous.
Architecture in Turkey for many years are you doing and you have to follow closely the construction sector. Recently, how do you evaluate the structure and perception of architecture in Turkey?
Yes, we have signed numerous projects for many years as of the history of our company, but I have been continuing my active architectural life for a relatively long time. Therefore, I can make clearer evaluations about the present rather than the past. I can clearly say that the construction sector and the architecture, as a result, has been experiencing rent-oriented and uncontrolled development in recent years. We can only overcome this crisis thanks to the clear rules that lead to the planned development I have just mentioned and the investors who can allow it to be implemented.
What are your future business plans? What are your new projects and investment plans?
We are re-activating our Erbil office in Northern Iraq very soon because we have a serious business volume and a design and supervision office which is established in terms of coordination of these projects helps us in instant intervention. In addition, we will fulfill our responsibilities for the realization and construction of “masterplan” projects that we are currently working on and completed.