Construction Diary: An Artist Plays Architect to Design a Brutalist-Inspired Family Home in Turkey

Hakan Topal translated a few basics from his training—commit to choices, and don’t make too many—into a broad two-level residence in the countryside.
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Growing up in Turkey, one of Hakan Topal’s summer jobs memorably unfolded on a building site. His father, Cemal Topal, was an engineer and wanted him to learn the trade, "so I spent 15 days with construction workers," recalls Hakan. Today, Hakan is an artist and associate professor of new media and art and design at Purchase College, State University of New York. But before embarking on this creative and research-driven path, he followed in his father’s footsteps, pursuing engineering at Middle East Technical University (where he also snagged a master’s degree in gender and women’s studies) before heading to New York in 2000.

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