Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1983.
Never trained as an architect, Nail Çakirhan's first career was that of a journalist and poet. He had reached his forties before he first became interested in construction while accompanying his archaeologist wife Halet on her field missions. After spending over a decade as a supervisor of construction projects, he restored his mother's old vernacular house with the aid of two traditionally skilled local carpenters. Having thereby learned the necessary arts and crafts, he set out to build an indigenous house of his own. The ideas and forms of the house were merely sketched and then plotted on the ground as traditional master builders used to work. In addition to the loggia which extends the length of the house are two identical living/sleeping rooms, each with a fireplace, flanking a wide and deep foyer and a large polygonal central hall. Similar spaces are to be found in traditional Ottoman houses. The window and door details, as well as the richly ornamented wooden ceiling, also conform to Ottoman custom. The jury found the house to be pure and elegant. They noted that "the design goes well beyond the simple reproduction of past models; its ornaments are judicious, sober and genuine. Its extraordinary harmony with nature, and its multi-purpose use and ambience of inner space give it great distinction."
Source: Aga Khan Trust for Culture