MEA Awards, MEA Awards 2018, Middle East Architect Awards, Tabanlioglu Architects
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Tabanlioglu Architects wins Large Architecture Firm of the Year

Turkish practice Tabanlioglu Architects has scooped up MEA Awards’ Large Architecture Firm of the Year.

Tabanlioglu Architects was established in 1990 by Murat Tabanlıoglu and his father Hayati Tabanlioglu, who were later joined by partner Melkan Gursel. The Istanbul-based firm’s long family tradition unofficially began in 1950, when Hayati began designing the Cankaya Mosque, Erzurum Ataturk University, Ataturk Cultural Center, Istanbul Ataturk Airport and Galleria — ‘the first shopping mall of Turkey’.

Spanning over six decades, the firm’s offerings currently include architecture, urban planning and interior design. Tabanlioglu’s projects comprise of a wide range of building types, which have won a variety of awards including the RIBA International Award in 2011 and 2013.

The firm’s ethos consist of researching global and environmental needs and developments and creating a built environment that caters to them. It also has a strong focus on environmental impacts, and strives to make a contribution using new technologies and serving the current and future needs of people, on a national and international scale.

When scoring the shortlist, the judges looked at submissions with the best description of company values, design principles as well as the number of successfully completed projects. One judge recognised Tabanlioglu Architects’ wide range of work that was “incomparable”.

Another judge noted the firm’s complexity of projects that leave a powerful impact on their environments.

“Tabanlioglu Architects consistently present a great strategy for designing and organising large programmes,” said the jury. “What the company has built so far supports the practice’s ideas. It is internationally recognised due to the high-quality of work it consistently produces, and Murat and Melkan lead the firm successfully.”

“There isn’t that sense that Tabanlioglu Architects is a large established practice,” the panel added, “because the team continues to extend itself to always stay ahead of the game.” 

Accepting the award was Dr Mustafa Alper Alhan, partner, Middle East region, at Tabalioglu.

“We are very happy to receive this award,” he said. “I think we won because we have so many projects around the world and especially in the Middle East.”

He added, “We have been delivering very big projects for the past 60 years, so we are a very old company. But in the last 10 years we increased our work in the Middle East, and we will increase our presence in the region even more in the coming years.”

The award was presented by Victor Schoone, country manager at Roca.

U+A was highly commended for being a “quickly growing powerhouse in the region”, as described by our panel. “It has done really well in the short time since opening its Dubai office, and has now branched internationally. The firm’s impressive and talented team, as well as its office ethos is evident in the quality of its work.”