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KEAS Concept Studio Hosts Architects

Han Tümertekin introduces a new meeting point in Venice

Kastamonu Entegre hosted its first event at the KEAS Concept Studio, an inspirational center and meeting point for architects, designers, decoration enthusiasts, and business partners. Participating in the event hosted by Kastamonu Entegre CEO Haluk Yıldız, renowned architect Han Tümertekin shared details about his Yan Yana (“Side by Side”) project, exhibited at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition in Venice. Inspired by the city of water, Istanbul, the project is also sponsored by Kastamonu Entegre and brings visitors from all around the world “side by side” to the Venice waterfront. 

Reflecting the global vision of the leading wood-based panel brand, Kastamonu Entegre, KEAS Concept Studio brings together architects and designers with products and the latest trends equipped with smart technologies. Consisting of a foyer, showroom, meeting hall, and auditorium, the 1,000-square-meter site aims to inspire new ideas through the visitor experience. It is more than an exhibition venue; KEAS Concept Studio is designed to be the industry’s new meeting point with the first visitor being the celebrated architect Han Tümertekin. 

“KEAS Concept Studio reflects our global vision.”

Speaking at the opening ceremony for the event, Kastamonu Entegre CEO Haluk Yıldız remarked: “We imagined KEAS Concept Studio as an environment for experience and practice that will reflect our global vision. Our products have been providing a comfortable and safe lifestyle to people in Turkey and abroad for over 50 years. As we touch the lives of people on this transformative journey, we find architects, interior architects, and designers to be our primary stakeholders.” Yıldız also emphasized that they consider it a mission to nurture the culture of architecture in Turkey as well as to represent it globally. “We are proud to make it on the international architecture and art scene with the “Side by Side” project by our renowned architect Han Tümertekin and his project partners in Italy, a major production site of our company,” Yıldız said before adding: “We are also thrilled to see a Turkish architect participating in the International Architecture Exhibition of Venice Biennale for the first time. We will continue to create quality work that will promote synergy between industry and design.”

“We must call on security to encourage visitors to leave the exhibition site.”

Following the opening speeches, Han Tümertekin gave an interview on “My Experiences at the Venice Biennale: How Will We Live Together?” moderated by his daughter and colleague Zeynep Tümertekin. The acclaimed architect affirmed that he was first invited to the Venice Biennale in 1991 when his daughter Zeynep was only eight months old. He noted that participating in the Venice Biennale once again after 30 years, this time with a team that included his daughter, was a delightful experience. Tümertekin commented on his preference for working with a team when responding to the theme question of the biennale: “I figured that it would be more fitting to respond to the exhibition’s theme, ‘How will we live together?’ as a team instead of an individual. We also made sure to include specialists outside of architecture in our project. Sociologist Ayfer Bartu Candan; architects Hayriye Sözen and Hakan Tüzün Şengün, with whom I had previously worked; video artist Mert Kaya; arts and culture director Tuna Ortaylı Kazıcı; architect and photographer Sena Özfiliz; and civil engineer Ahmet Topbaş accompanied us on this journey.” Tümertekin affirmed that they were inspired by Istanbul in their art, saying: “We first examined the clues offered by Istanbul on living together. We noticed that beaches were the only public places where people lived together despite their social and economic differences. Venetian life is also very much about packing in together at the waterfront. Based on this idea, we made a little intervention on the line where water meets land at the exhibition site in the Arsenale. We built a wooden construction that protruded from the water, upon which people could climb to chat. We wanted to create a relaxing area where people could breathe for a moment, come side by side and chat about the artifacts in the lively rhythm of the biennale. Once you provide people with a space to be together, they will handle the rest. Visitors eat, rest, and even sunbathe in this space we created. There are still so many people on the deck at the Biennale’s closing time that we have to ask security to encourage them to leave.” 

“We attempt to evoke the most intense emotions through the smallest physical intervention.”

“I never wanted to be an architect limited to a single type of style. Every style teaches you something new,” noted Han Tümertekin, who went on to say of his professional approach and philosophy: “Our team believes in the significance of the location. When we set up a location, we believe all parts are equally important and we are adamant that architecture only truly comes alive through locations. When we create suggestions for daily life, we attempt to evoke the most intense emotions through the smallest physical intervention. That is why we are invited to the Biennale.”

We will live together, “Side by Side”

In the Biennale, which featured the theme “How Will We Live Together?” and was curated by Lebanese architect, educator, and scholar, participants designed locations where people could live together against the problems faced by the world today. In response to this question, Han Tümertekin and his Project Partners, with contributions from numerous disciplines including architecture, engineering, social sciences, and visual arts, designed the structure titled “Side by Side” (Yan Yana) that became one of the most striking works at Arsenal, a signature Biennale venue. The giant installation features wood as its main material, supported by a specially designed steel construction, and offers visitors a pleasant opportunity to relax and chat on the docks of the historic Venetian harbor. It also houses various Biennale events. The 17th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Architecture Biennale will be open to visitors until November 21.

KEAS Concept Studio Hosts Architects