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Europe 40 Under 40 Awards ARCHIVE 2016 40under40
T-House - Onur Teke - Turkey
  • T-House - Onur Teke - Turkey
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T-House - Onur Teke - Turkey
Onur Teke - Turkey

Born in Izmir (Turkey) in 1975. Onur studied architecture at Yildiz technical University in Istanbul. After working with Peter Eisenman in New York, he joined in the year 2000 Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW) and became an associate architect. During those years in RPBW he developed various Museums which include: The Museum of Contemporary Art (Sarajevo), Isabella Steward Gardner Museum (Boston), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York) and in particular Kimbell Art Museum in (Fort Worth, Texas) for which he was in charge from early design phase to final construction.

Onur has participated in various workshops and given lectures during his career. His work has been presented in various publications and received various prestigious international awards.

Project Description


The design of T-House involves a challenge to the conventional tension between natural environment and the man-made object. Throughout the design process, decisions at all scales – from the site plan to the smallest detail- have been made with the concern on how to add an unobtrusive, harmonious component to the existing beautiful Aegean landscape within a contemporary design language. Intricately placed within an ordered grid of the olive grove; the house is barely discernible with its lightweight roof surface of spaced wooden rafters.

The transparent surfaces that create visual and physical connections with nature have been planned carefully to provide varying vistas and comfort alternatives for the users who spend majority of their time in open air. The house offers a sunny deck and a shaded deck; a breezy deck and a sheltered deck throughout the day at all seasons. At every opening of the house, the users remain connected with the outside; dissolving the barrier between the interior and exterior space and improving the sense of place. The transparent intersection of the two masses houses the kitchen and the general living area, while providing access to all the decks surrounding the building. This area, which is the core of daily life, can be evaluated as a contemporary interpretation of the central “hayat” in the traditional Turkish house, a centralized living space that provides connection with other interior and exterior spaces.

The sustainable and self-sufficient rural life that the users are trying to establish in this unique environment is the “raison d'etre” of the house. The design was developed with the idea that its existence should not create a tension with the existing nature and the life style, but rather modestly blend into what is already there, but with a contemporary design language generated from this sensitivity. The house is designed to be as sustainable and self-sufficient as possible, with the use of passive energy systems used efficiently. As an extension of this concept, it was essential to make every detail realizable with local material resources and workmanship. With the concrete, construction and wood works realized by a local contractor and a local carpenter; T-House stands out as an example that a low-cost sustainable living condition can be achieved by getting inspired by nature and making maximum use of natural resources and local workmanship.

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