Internationally Renowned Architect Emre Arolat Talks About Design Approach and Recent Work with RIBA President and Board Members During AIA Convention Week in NYC

Emre Arolat and Ben Derbyshire (President of the RIBA, Royal Institute of British Architects)

On  Thursday, June 21st, internationally renowned architect Emre Arolat, recent winner of the 2018 RIBA Award for International Excellence, presented notable examples of his work to a group of Royal Institute of Architects (RIBA) members who gathered for a luncheon at the recently opened SoHo studio of EAA – Emre Arolat Architecture.

Emre Arolat presented three of his recent and current projects to the group including SantralIstanbul Museum of Contemporary Art in Istanbul, a new museum hotel currently under construction in Antakya, and the winner of the RIBA 2018 Award for Excellence, the Sancaklar Mosque, in Istanbul.

During the presentation, Emre related much of his background from his early days and his desire to be a race car driver to entering architecture school, joining his parent’s firm in 1987, and then establishing EAA in 2004 with co-founder Gonca Pasolar.

“I am very proud to have seen my practice grow over the years from Istanbul to London and now New York City. I believe that architecture is a realm where contextual relationships appear in their widest and deepest meanings and one where each specific situation creates its unique solution. Each project is special and deserves a unique idea, this is what we sought for while designing a hotel over the incredible mosaics from antiquity in Antakya or when we tried to go back to the essence of Islam and found ‘humility’ on which we constructed the Sancaklar mosque. Each project, each different geography and place is another attempt to find this unique idea and now working in New York, interpreting this context has been really rewarding. It is very special sharing these with the board members of RIBA and I am happy to receive such appreciation,” said Arolat.

Following the discussion, the audience heard remarks from Ben Derbyshire, president of the RIBA, who graciously spoke of the RIBA Award given to EAA for the design of the Sancaklar Mosque, presenting it as a great example of the new paradigm in religious architecture. “The Sancaklar Mosque is truly embracing nature and women as it shows the basis of spirituality and the articulation of it is absolutely beautiful. I want to emphasize how important and unique the award is now because we described ourselves as a global institute – a global membership for the advancement of architecture” said Derbyshire.

About EAA – Emre Arolat Architecture

Founded by Emre Arolat and Gonca Pasolar in 2004, EAA-Emre Arolat Architecture focuses on a wide range of work including urban master plans, airports, residential and cultural buildings, and workplaces. EAA, with a long family tradition, has become one of the largest architectural offices in Turkey, and has expanded to offices in London and New York.  Emre Arolat Architecture believes in fully exploring and researching the socio-political context of all projects, and is committed to executing thoroughly researched work.

EAA’s projects have been displayed in many notable institutions, such as the Design Museum and Royal Academy of Arts in London, the Royal Institute of British Architecture, and at numerous International Architecture Biennales in Venice and Istanbul. The firm’s work has received international recognition, including selected work with the Mies van der Rohe Award, the Aga Khan Award, and the RIBA Award for International Excellence 2018. The firm’s work has been published in Emre Arolat Architects: Context and Plurality, a monograph published by Rizzoli and edited by Philip Jodidio and Suha Ozkan.   EAA’s wide-ranging repertoire includes a marina complex on the shores of Yalikavak, Bodrum (2011-2014); the Antakya Museum Hotel, built above an existing archeological site in Antakya (2014- ); the SantralIstanbul Contemporary Art Museum, (2005-2006); and the Dalaman International Airport (1999-2006), among others.

For more information about EAA-Emre Arolat Architecture, please visit

About Emre Arolat, M.Arch, RIBA 

Born in Ankara, Turkey, Emre Arolat comes from a long family tradition of architects.  After graduating from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul, Emre joined his parent’s architecture firm, and in 2004, formed his own firm EAA – Emre Arolat Architecture with co-founder Gonca Pasolar.

Emre Arolat has lectured and taught at design schools around the world, and was recently named Norman R. Foster Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture. Emre Arolat also held a professorship at the International Academy of Architecture.

Emre Arolat has collaborated on many projects with fine arts institutions, a notable example being his collaboration with the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), in which he worked with the organization to co-curate the first Istanbul Design Biennale.