Saffet Kaya Bekiroglu (M.Arch [Hons], B.Arch, ARB, RIBA) is an internationally practicing architect, previously collaborating at Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) as the project designer and architect of international designs on a variety of scales including several competition-winning projects such as the London Aquatics Centre for 2012 Olympic Games, the Kartal Pendik Masterplan in Istanbul and the regeneration of Eleftheria Square in Nicosia, Cyprus. His internationally most acclaimed project is the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, which was completed in 2013 and of which Saffet is acknowledged as co-author next to the two ZHA-principals, the late Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher. Saffet is also the designer for many of the product and furniture designs, such as for the critically-acclaimed Aqua Table. Saffet has set up his own practice Saffet Kaya Architects in 2016 with locations in London, Istanbul and Cyprus. His focus remains on pursuing an architecture of innovation and excellence.
Saffet’s interests lie in the expression of smart architectural surfaces informed by inherent conditions and contextual data – organizing designs with multiple orders into architectural landscapes. He investigates space as a fluid medium, where continuous variations have the ability to generate an implied motion. In terms of design methodology, Saffet emphasises the significance of intuition and experimentation, deliberately engaging with a diverse set of innovative design processes and media rather than favoring a singular technique.
Before joining ZHA, Saffet had collaborated with Frank O. Gehry & Associates for five years where he was involved in the design and development of high profile, large-scale projects such as the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Lake Front Music Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park.
Saffet received his Bachelor of Architecture degree at the Istanbul Technical University, and his Masters of Architecture with Honors from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He has been a visiting critic, lecturer and tutor at various.