Architect Hakan Habif continues to work in the fields of architectural and interior design projects and applications under the roof of Habif Architecture, which he founded in 2005. He adopts the view that projects should be supported with aesthetic values after their functions and user requirements are solved in the most appropriate way. While incorporating these values into his projects, Habif, acting with his vision, knowledge and experience, and evaluating the problems he tackles from a multi-faceted perspective, believes that although architecture has more artistic aspects, it is actually a more scientific field. We talked with Hakan Habif about the current corporate office, detached house and chain store designs, material selections and natural stone selections.
Can we briefly hear from you how your architectural journey started and how you established Habif Architecture?
Hakan Habif: I graduated from ITU Architecture. In 1997 with my friend Ali Doruk, we founded Net Architecture and in 2005, we worked together until the establishment of Habif Architecture. For over 15 years our work in the fields of architecture / interior design projects and applications are continuing. We designed many large square meters of detached housing and chain stores for well known companies such as Pronet, Arzum, Skechers, Hedef Filo, Markafoni, Trendyol and Nezih Kitap Evleri.
What is it that you’d like to say about Habif Architects’ design philosophy? What are the essential criteria for you?
HH: Frankly, we do not find expressions such as fashion and trend correct in architecture. That year, burgundy color may be fashionable in textiles, but we cannot say that dark blue color is fashionable in architecture. Architecture is a more scientific field, although it has more artistic aspects. Instead of trends and fashions, we can talk about materials that have developed versions with the advancement of technology. For example, wood veneer can be transformed into other kinds of high-density veneers with very different compression methods.
How and in what stages does the design process take place in your office? Can you tell us about your team structure? What division of labor do you work with?
HH: We have a team of 8 people, with our friends who have been working together for many years and who have just joined our team. The project process, which is carried out by an experienced friend when appropriate, can be completed by an architectural team of 3-4 people in line with the size of the project and the needs. The design process, which generally starts in the office, continues by being in constant dialogue with the customer. Our first priority is to present an aesthetic project design that correctly responds to the needs of the user.
Due to the pandemic, we have entered a transformation process along with the changes in our lifestyles, and this transformation has seriously affected our consumption habits. What kind of new demands and trends have you observed in housing and office projects?
HH: In this process, while the offices went to renovation and hygiene-oriented revisions that adapted themselves to the pandemic process, constructing the places where many people live and will live went his way. We encountered demands in office projects such as places with high population density sparse and with divider panel systems, partially isolated areas. Many companies working in the sector such as advertising, digital media have vacated their existing offices, only meeting rooms or one-to-one meeting rooms with much smaller square meters. Working from the home system has become widespread and online new offices started to be established on platforms. Customers came to us with requests such as setting up a work space at home.
Can you talk about your recently completed S Guest House project? What kind of solutions did you develop in this project for new trends after the pandemic?
HH: The building in the garden in Bebek was left alone for a long time as a warehouse where old things were stacked and was in an unusable state. Our aim was to transform this structure, which is very convenient in terms of its location and today’s usage needs. We planned to make it a modern and qualified living space with little and self-interventions. The walls, the suspended ceiling, and the flooring were completely removed. Kitchenette, bar, eating, sitting and sleeping spaces were resolved in an open plan and associated with each other in a flow. Thus, the entire interior, which is small but every window opens to the view, has turned into a spacious, modern and useful tiny house.
In your opinion, how will it affect the longing for a return to nature, which has been reinforced by the pandemic, affects architecture and the interior?
HH: We will probably start using green more in projects. A simple picnic under the tree or a short walk in the woods we realized how important is in our lives. Therefore, we hope and thinks that we will encounter settlements and cities with strong landscapes projects with more open area, large terraces, balconies.
What kind of place does natural stone occupy in the material selection of your projects? Which type of natural stones do you prefer more?
HH: The subject of natural stone has been a necessity since the development of humanity and it has been at the forefront of our lives, both as structure and household appliances. With the advancement of technology, it has been replaced by much more up-to-date materials and it continues to take place in our lives in different ways. We mostly use basalt, travertine in our projects. We use stones like To use local stones as much as possible.
What are the determining criteria in your natural stone selections?
HH: As Habif Architecture, the materials we use in design, timelessness is a topic we are discussing. In this context, our projects materials come together with their naturalness rather than their popularity. From our point of view, using natural stone is a necessity. In-office designs, natural stone commonly used the corporate identity of the company where it can be observed such as reception area, upper-level admin areas. The location and concept of our stone selections are mostly the projects determines. Location chosen, color palettes used, other material are determined according to the marble/stones harmony to be achieved.
What would you say about your current projects and future plans?
HH: Currently, we are working on residential and villa projects, designed according to your specifications in the Aegean and Mediterranean regions, the climate of these geographies. We also have residential and office projects in Istanbul. On the one hand we also started the process of redesigning our own office. In the future too, by keeping our line, it is the biggest thing for us to carry out user-oriented prestigious projects.