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Woman Architect of the Year shortlist: Gonca Pasolar

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Emre Arolat Architects’ Gonca Pasolar has been shortlisted for the 2015 Woman Architect of the Year Award

Gonca Pasolar began work at Arolat Associates in 2002, with ‘no intention of setting up my own practice’, but in 2004 she co-founded Emre Arolat Architects with Emre Arolat, the son of the founders of Arolat Associates. Pasolar co-ordinates and manages all of the project processes for the practice, which has offices in Istanbul and London. The firm currently has nine schemes under construction, including the domestic flights terminal at Dalaman Airport in south-west Turkey, which it won after completing the international terminal at the airport. In 2014 the practice picked up awards at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore for the Yalikavak Marina Complex and for the Antakya Museum Hotel, both in Turkey.


Gonca Pasolar

Studied Middle East Technical University, Ankara
First practice
Cagil Architecture
First project
Kaysen Electricity Co HQ competition
Current projects
Antakaya Museum Hotel, Istanbul; Antrepo 5 Museum; mixed-use schemes in Istanbul and Izmir; museums in Istanbul and Kayseri; and airport terminals at Dalaman and Cukurova airports
Current clients
General Directorate of State Airports Authority; Middle East Technical University; Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University; the Asfurog˘lu family; Atilla Olce; and the Bergama Municipality
Favourite architects
Scarpa, Aalto and Loos
Favourite building
Sverre Fehn’s Hedmark Museum
Why architecture
I haven’t had any other thought since the beginning of my high school education. My father used to be in theconstruction business and had worked on a few apartment buildings in our neighbourhood. That was a period when our district was under development to be the new residential neighbourhood of the city, full of many construction sites. Growing up in such a context, I suppose I was affected.
Biggest challenge facing women in architecture
To forget about the perceived male-dominance in the field, which I don’t think is so valid.
Advice to aspiring female architects
Be clear about your main goal in life. Architecture needs commitment, passion, endless strength, renewal and patience.

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