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Emre Arolat Architecture Reveals Design for Nora Mosque Near Dubai

An Architect’s Creative Journey Between New York, New Haven, Istanbul and Ajman: Emre Arolat Shares his Experience


Emre Arolat在建筑行业工作多年,曾经荣获阿加汗建筑奖,同时也是2012年伊斯坦布尔设计双年展的合作策展人。他是一位专业的建筑师,在耶鲁大学建筑学院任教,Arolat花了许多时间全球旅行。在这篇文章中,Arolat分享了他的旅行经验,并且诉说了他的创作过程。——AD编辑团队

Emre Arolat has a long and distinguished career in architecture, marked by honors such as the Aga Khan Award for architecture and appointments such as the co-curatorship of the 2012 Istanbul Design Biennial. As both a practicing architect and an educator (he teaches at the Yale School of Architecture), Arolat spends a great deal of time traveling around the world. In this guest essay, Arolat shares his experience on the road, illuminating a personal creative process. - AD Editorial Team


The MetLife Building in New York

当你从联合广场走向公园大道时,MetLife大楼会跃然出现,几年前,这里曾是Pan American的总部大楼。虽然这栋建筑改了名字,但是建筑自身并没有改造。你还能够看到Grand中心航站楼的屋面。你会感觉它就在你的面前,但实际上,你还要走20分钟才能达到。



对于耶鲁大学的校园其他建筑,我并不太了解。但是不管其特征,这里的建筑学院都有一种保守的思想,这种思想的蔓延悄无声息,我在过去的10年里逐渐也接受了这种思想。Rudolph Hall设计的厚重墙体隐藏起现代气息,这里的建筑趋势也来源于建筑师对不循规蹈矩、体量感、纯粹形式的理解。Deborah常常说:“我希望你也能开心。”这里的一切都十分认真,我很喜欢这样的设计方式,因为这些空间都相互交织在一起。

The MetLife Building suddenly appears before you as you arrive at Park Avenue walking north from Union Square.  Years ago it was the headquarters of Pan American. The name has changed, but somehow they have left the building untouched.  You can see the roof of Grand Central Terminal as well. You think you are almost there, but one way or another it will take you twenty minutes more to reach it.     
I run into the giant hall.  Once again, I've had no time to buy a ticket.  I board the 11:34 Metro North train at the last minute.  I couldn't even get a coffee. As always, the same metallic voice announces we are about to depart for New Haven.
The weather is glorious.  Autumn's red leaves all along the road.  I will see this view many times more during this semester until the end of the year.  So beautiful...
I know almost nothing about the other buildings on the Yale campus. But putting aside all its positive characteristics, there is a conservatism to the School of Architecture that is not easy to sense until one goes inside. I have to admit it is a kind of conservatism I too have gradually come to adopt, especially in the last ten years. Rudolph Hall's thick walls do not easily betray that contemporary screwiness, architectural tendencies defined by the desire for unruly, gigantic, purely interesting forms.  Deborah [Berke] often says, "I want you to have fun too." But it is all taken very seriously.  I like this arrested commitment. Clearly these spaces flowing into one another do not acquire quality without reason.  




我在平板电脑上制作了一个理论框架,用来与学生们沟通。这一定是我看过的Collins 大街中最有趣的文章。迈阿密有着奇怪的故事,这种神秘感无孔不入,但是这里的人们却不断地寻求欢乐。我收到了一封电子邮件,一件来自阿拉伯联合酋长国的事情吸引了我。

Rashid Al Ghurair是一位年轻的富商,他的公司有着一些不同的业务。一场疾病剥夺了他母亲的生命。他说:“她的离开只是短短的两个星期。”其实他已经花了好几年来给母亲治病,他从未放弃过。我下车之后,我就给他打了电话。我甚至能感受到他声音之中的痛苦。

Harlem is the first stop.  The material layers of swift transformation pass before my eyes one by one.  Here the memory of space, traces of time and brand new desires blend in an irreparable drive for gentrification.
I think this is one of the things I love best about this train trip.  On the one hand, there is a strange freedom in it, while on the other the rails run right through the middle of this unlikely weave.  A chain of dozens, hundreds of disparate conditions.
On my tablet I prepare the theoretical framework for a discussion on context I will have with the students. This must be the most interesting article I have read about Collins Avenue.  Miami has a strange story. The uncanny has seeped into every vein, yet its people seek pleasure to the very end. I get a few emails at this point. One from the United Arab Emirates catches my eye...  
Rashid Al Ghurair is a wealthy young businessman.  His companies handle several different kinds of business. A ruthless illness suddenly took his mother from him cruelly, and in an untimely manner.  "It has been only two weeks," he says.  Though he struggled for years to save her.  He left no treatment untried, but in vain...  As soon as I get off the train, I call him at the number he sent me.  I can feel the pain in his voice from thousands of kilometers away...




这片场地周围环绕着道路。Sheikh Rashid Bin Humeed大道贯穿整座城市,几乎与海洋平行。大海位于西北面,但是人们在地面上无法看到它。巨大的住宅建筑位于我们的身后,它们有着一面厚重巨大的墙体。我迅速地数了一下,建筑大约有35个楼层。这大概会是一次艰难的任务。

A few weeks later… In an entirely different geography.  He comes in a Tesla to get me from the hotel. Quite unexpected from a man who makes his living largely from oil.  And he is driving himself. Not the custom here for such a rich man to drive his own car. We talk along the way. He is clearly well educated. An intelligent, forward-thinking, openhearted man.  And he loves architecture. "I wanted to build a mosque in my mother's memory. And I hope it will help to change this terrible feeling I have inside me, even if just a little. I have studied Sancaklar.  I didn't want to talk with any other architect."
We arrive at Ajman after quite some time.  We go toward the city center. The built environment is strangely disorganized.  Obviously, the city is swiftly changing its skin. Big and small, high and low all mixed in together.  "Here we are," he says. We get out of the car and begin to walk. It is mid-day. I am thinking how horribly hot it must be in summer.  Just now the December sun shines directly down on us...
The lot is surrounded by roads.  Sheikh Rashid Bin Humeed Boulevard, coming from the south, is a main artery that runs the whole length of the city parallel to the sea.  The sea lies northwest, but is not visible from ground level. Huge residential buildings rise behind us. They create a thick, gigantic wall.  I try to make a quick count. They must be around thirty-five stories each. There's context for you! The job will be very hard this time...








A few days later I am back in New Haven.  The Study is simple, pleasant university hotel.  I especially do not turn on the lights in my room.  Night and fog are falling together and the city, not lively under any circumstances, is completely steeped in gloom.  I sit at the wooden desk by the window. I have not even opened my suitcase. Two to three-story structures directly in front of me, uniform with their bright green cover.  A few high buildings in the distance. I drift in the yellow light of street lamps appearing and disappearing in the fog. My eyes are here, but my mind is thousands of kilometers away.
"Since it is impossible to deal with those giant structures, we will throw the ball from the other corner this time."  I hurriedly turn on the table lamp.  Beside it are the hotel notepad and a soft lead pencil.  I relax...
“and it came with its own glance, from deep inside of the earth”
I work with a group of friends in the Istanbul and New York offices on the idea that appeared with a sketch on a night in New Haven in a silent hotel room.  Dozens of people work feverishly for nearly three months. We seemed to have a lot of time, but the day of the presentation approaches swiftly. Tension is high.  The more we try to do a little more, just a little more, the project grows and grows. And the more tired we get, the more excited we are...
I finish the presentation.  There is not a sound in the room.  In the dark everyone's eyes are on him.  He sits still as a statue. He looks deeper and deeper into the black screen.  I watch his fixed eyes anxiously. After a long time he turns his gaze on me. He speaks in a whisper.
"If only she could have seen it too..."  


关于Emre Arolat(建筑学硕士/英国皇家建筑师协会会员)

Emre Arolat出生于土耳其安卡拉,其家庭有着悠久的建筑传统。Emre毕业于伊斯坦布尔密玛尔斯南美术大学,毕业后,在父母的建筑事务所就职,后来在2004年,他与合作伙伴Gonca Pasolar创办了自己的公司EAA,意思是“Emre Arolat Architecture”。

Emre Arolat曾经在世界各地的设计学院任教并讲学,近期被任命为耶鲁大学建筑学院的客座教授。Emre Arolat同时也是国际建筑学院的教授。

Emre Arolat曾经与许多艺术机构都进行过合作,其中包括与伊斯坦布尔文化与艺术基金会(IKSV)的合作,他们共同组织了第一届伊斯坦布尔设计双年展。

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 parents’ 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.



Emre Arolat Architecture Reveals Design for Nora Mosque Near Dubai


© Thomas Mayer


© Thomas Mayer



© Thomas Mayer


Emre Arolat Architec




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