Presentation Faith and Aesthetics, Istanbul, Turkey


Mosques in Europe and Turkey Faith and Aesthetics in Public Space

Nilüfer Göle (Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales; Mercator-IPC Senior Fellow) 

Emre Arolat (Emre Arolat Architects) 
Paul Böhm (BÖHM & PTNRS) 
Cihan Bugdaci (Gentlemen A.R.T.) 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 18:30 Istanbul Policy Center 

The panel aims to bring together social scientists and architects in order to engage in a comparative discussion regarding mosques. The mosque debate points to a series of sociological issues ranging from the place of faith in public space, the language of the sermon in migrant contexts, and the adaptation of mosques within the European landscape. Mosques represent different meanings according to their size, location, and scale: Invisible prayer rooms, mosques of the neighborhood, or mosques as a new marker of the city. Should mosques in Europe replicate the home countries’ traditional/national styles, or find new vernacular forms? Can mosques be perceived in urban life as a micro public sphere bringing together different publics, both pious and secular, migrant and European? The debates on the aesthetics of transparency, spirituality, and visibility are closely related with the ways in which Islam is reconfigured in space both in Muslim majority and Muslim migrant countries. Several mosque projects in Istanbul, Cologne, and Rotterdam can serve as a point of entry for discussing issues of aesthetics, faith, and publics.

Pluricultural Analysis Bloemhof, Rotterdam, The Netherlands


Noble hope

Ergün Erkoçu (architect concept 0031) and Cihan Bugdaci (Gentlemen A.R.T.) approach the social debate on the ‘pluricultural’ society, as a starting point. They prefer to work in difficult areas because they do have the knowledge about the potential of the neighborhoods and it`s residents and know that there is a role for them as social interpreter to play. A conversation about a different way of ‘reading the city’.


Renovation Schools Nijkerklaan, The Hague, Netherlands


We are currently working on the renovation of the Gelderlandschool and the Rosa School in The Hague commisioned by the De Rosaschool (Stichting Katholiek Onderwijs De Zwerm) en De Gelderlandschool (Stichting De Haagse Scholen) partnering Concept0031. The project includes the school buildings as well as the gymnastics buildings of both schools at the Nijkerklaan 5, 7, 9 and 11 in The Hague.

With this renovation it is important to maintain the appearance of the two buildings, with their unique detailing, whilst ensuring that the quality of the school is raised to a sustainable and future-proof building with improved indoor climate.

Student Housing, Leiden, The Netherlands

Feasibility study based on preliminary design for the redevelopment of a former office building at Oosterkerkstraat in Leiden into 45 student apartments.

The building from 1980, currently consists of a basement with 3 floors above. In the new design a laundry room of 20m2, a bicycle storage room and storage are outlined in the basement. On the ground floor 18 student apartments are situated. On the first floor are a common area of ​​about 36 m2 and 18 apartments. And on the second floor another 9 apartments can be realized. All this results in a total of 45 apartments with 12 parking spaces.


Project / Location: Leiden Student Housing
Project Type: Redevelopment
Architecture: Concept0031
Variant: Preliminary Design
Feasibility based on: Preliminary Design

Fatih Mosque Rozengracht, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The Fatih Mosque in Amsterdam is one of the largest and most visited (sometimes 1100 people at same time) in Holland. The mosque is located in a former Catholic church, which was built on the location where there used to be a Jezuite hiding church. The building is officially listed as monument.

Gentlemen is taking care of the organization and consulting the board of the Mosque on the renovation of the entrance, the layout of the entrance hall and the conversion of stairs to upper houses on the entrance side of the building and the change of the entrance area itself of the monumental Fatih Mosque at the Rozengracht in Amsterdam. Drawings (both architectural as constructive) are made by Concept0031.

Renovation ENMS school, The Hague, Netherlands

Renovation of the “First Dutch Montessori School” in The Hague.

‘An architectural operation’ to renovate this monumental building, with its unique detailing, thereby not affecting its value and at the same time ensuring that the quality of the school is raised to a sustainable and future-proof building with improved indoor climate for the children to learn and play and for the administration and teachers to work.


Ontwerp: CONCEPT0031 &Gentlemen A.R.T.

Architect: Ergün Erkoçu

Projectmanager: Cihan Buğdacı

Team: Ergün Erkoçu, Cihan Buğdacı & Rowena Oemar


Hotel Transvaal, The Hague, Netherlands

Hotel Transvaal, The Hague

Project Transformation of apartments to Hotel – Paul Krugerlaan, Transvaal in The Hague

Gentlemen A.R.T. was asked to redevelop the project and offer process management transforming existing housing blocks and commercial spaces into a hotel at the Paul Krugerlaan in The Hague, based on a preliminary design by CONCEPT0031.

The existing buildings are property of a private investor for quite some time. An initial study about the feasibility was done early 2011 after the investor invited Gentlemen A.R.T. and Concept0031 because of their expretise.

Presentation London – Faith In The City: The Mosque in the Contemporary Urban West

Faith In The City: The Mosque in the Contemporary Urban West 

Keynote lecture and day of debate on 10-11 November 2011, as forum for discussion of ideas and case studies of recent mosque and faith building design from across Europe, alongside a close investigation into historic precedents for the integration of minorities within the urban context and a suggestion of possible progressive future scenarios.

An exploration of the current contemporary moment and a platform for discussion of alternative ways in which architecture can give form to faith and aid in navigating the dynamics between organisations, communities and their neighbours; private practice and the public communication of belief. The seminar sessions looked at architects’ struggles between tradition and modernity in mosque design, the role that architecture can play in integrating faith based minorities, the place of religion in a broadly secular Western urban fabric, and the differences between British, European and other Western contexts.

A collaboration between Openvizor, The Architecture Foundation and Arts Council England’s Arts and Islam programme.

With contributors including

Michel Abboud, architect, Principal of SOMA; architectural consultants for the Park51 Islamic Cultural Centre in New York City, US.

Ergün Erkoçu, architect, author, and Creative Director, Concept 0031 (The Hague) and Cihan Bugdaci, Director,Gentlemen A.R.T. Architects of the Polder Mosque (unrealised) and co-authors of the book The Mosque: Political, Architectural and Social Transformations

Foreign Architects Switzerland, a platform for alternative ideas, projects, and people; responsible for the post-minaret-ban ideas competition for an Islamic Centre in Zurich.

Lukas Feireiss, curator, writer, artist and editor, Studio Lukas Feireiss (Berlin). Editor of Closer To God: Religious Architecture and Sacred Spaces and Beyond Architecture: Imaginative Buildings and Fictional Cities

Alen Jasarevic, architect and founder, Jasarevic Architekten (Mering, Germany); architects of the Penzberg Islamic Forum

Ali Mangera, architect and co-founder, Mangera Yvars Architects (London/Barcelona/Doha); architects of the experimental, un-built and highly contested Abbey Mills Mosque, originally due to be located near the East London’s Olympic site; The North London Cultural Centre, North Harrow (planning permission October 2011) and The Qatar University (on-site development from Winter 2011). Mangera Yvars Architects is an architectural design studio established in 2001 by Ali Mangera and Ada Yvars Bravo, based in Barcelona and London with affiliate offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Doha.

Dr. Noah Nasser, Acting Director, Urban Renaissance Institute, University of Greenwich. Founder, Centre for Urban Design Outreach and Skills (CUDOS), Birmingham City University

Ziauddin Sardar, writer, broadcaster, cultural critic, Visiting Professor, School of Arts, City University, London

Documentary credits Camera by Tijmen Veldhuizen Produced by Abbas Nokhasteh Directed by Andrés Borda González

Ergün Erkoçu (Concept 0031) and Cihan Bugdaci (Gentlemen A.R.T): The Poldermosque – A Pluricultural Reality. At this time the world is changing and ways of looking at things are established through different perspectives; our focus is on three main elements – pluriculturality, interdisciplinary approaches, and informal vs. formal uses. The pluriform-cultural/pluricultural compilation of the community is no longer deniable and therefore an important factor to take into account when talking about or creating for the community. Ergün Erkoçu, architect, author, and Creative Director, Concept 0031 (The Hague) and Cihan Bugdaci, Director,Gentlemen A.R.T. Architects of the Polder Mosque (unrealised) and co-authors of the book The Mosque: Political, Architectural and Social Transformations.

Perspectives for 2040 – Essay about Cultural integration in Metropolitan cities

Pop-up link Essay:  Integratie & de Metropool – De Pluriculturaliteit van de toekomstige stad

There is no shortage of scenarios or plans on how The Netherlands in the future should or would look like. Unfortunately, within these views, the question of who will inhabit the Dutch cities is not questioned too often. This lack of a sustainable demographic prospective use of the country is also characteristic for the current debate on immigration and integration.

The integration issue within the social-public debate is often approached from an ethnic-cultural perspective, but it is questionable whether this perspective can offer solutions. The economic and demographic developments within The Netherlands indicate that the focus will be more and more on the ‘Randstad’ (the west part of The Netherlands). It is the area where (children of) migrants are mostly settling from the 70`s on wards. There is a need for a wider socio-economic perspective for issues which will contain and connect economic growth and issues such as health, education and urban planning all together. What does integration in 2040 look like and what role will the Randstad as a metropole play?

FORUM, Institute for multicultural issues has asked a number of leading thinkers, politicians and scientists with diverse backgrounds for from their field to think about these questions. Integration & the metropolis. Perspectives for 2040 is a fascinating exercise, a search for an alternative reply is that rich and future-proof. With contributions from leading thinkers, politicians and scientists.

Lecture ‘ADHD III: Unasked Advice’

ADHD – November 9, 2010

As in other cities The Hague suffers from considerable cutbacks, also on the spatial development of the city. Fortunately, this leads to thinking about alternative ways to keep the city in motion. This evening four experts gave their views on a number of current issues in urban development  and link it to a recommendation. This third ADHD was prompted by  the taking office of Erik Pasveer as the new head of the Department of Urban Spatial Development in The Hague on 1 October.

ADHD invited four experts, who advised DSO their own way DSO: researcher Beitske Boonstra TNO Built Environment and Geosciences / University of Utrecht) spoke about self-organization in urban development; architect / developer Cihan Bugdaci and architect / writer Iris Schutten advised on the reuse of the empty city and economist Kai van Hasselt got into the externalities of urban development  and presented a number of tools to steer them.

Led by moderator JaapJan Berg debate took place between the three advisors, Erik Pasveer and the audience. Columnist Marcel Verreck ended the evening appropriately.