WHO IS NAIL V. CAKIRHAN?
Nail Cakirhan was born in Gokabad, todays Gokova (Ula Distict of Mugla province), in the year of 1910. He finished primary school in the Ula district and secondary school in the Mugla province and high-school in Konya province. He started writing poems, when he was only 12 years old. At his 13, he published his first handwritten newspaper and when he reached to 18 years old, he published the first printed magazine in the Konya province. At his 19, he started studying in the Medical Faculty of Istanbul University. However, he dropped out this study and started studying in the faculty of law and concentrated in journalism and literature. He, together with his friend Nazim Hikmet, published, the joint poetry book titled “1+1=One”. At his 24, he went to the Soviet Union and he started studying economics and politics there. In the year of 1937, he returned back to the Turkey and started working in different fields of such as journalism, bookselling and accountancy.
His architectural experience dates back to the year of 1951, when he started to assist his wife named Archeologist Halet Cambel, dutied to conduct excavation and restoration studies and works in Karatepe-Aslantas. He construction works here. He conducted the construction works of protective roof trees in the excavation area and an excavation building and other buildings, such as forest buildings, primary school, lodging building and ateliers. He achieved the first successful naked concrete application (in spite of all difficulties and under very hard conditions). Experiences and practices, which he gained in brick constructions and buildings, enabled him important advantages in the designs and applications, which he completed later on.
According to his doctor’s advice, he returned back to Akyaka in the year of 1970. He felt that he needs a house, wherein he can relax and work in peace. In order to achieve this, he purchased a piece of ald about two and as half decares in the Akyaka district and started and completed the construction works of his own house, with the help of two masters. With this house, which he has designed and constructed for himself in the year of 1970, he has been awarded with the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in the year of 1983. Followings had been written in the grand jury’s decision for this award:
“In the design and decoration of this house, There is a neatness and elaborateness, reflecting and maintaining the traditional life style. With its graceful and ancestral and adequate decorations, the design of this house is far beyond the simple repetition of samples in the past.
Its extraordinary harmony with nature and superb features of multifunctional usability and indoor effect have been giving great and superb characteristics to this building. This breathable and attractive house is noteworthy especially for reviving the handicrafts and cultural sensitivities”.
He has designed more than hundred buildings and personally managed/supervised their construction works and therefore, Istanbul Metropol Branch of the Chamber of Architects of the TMMOB (Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and architects) has awarded him with the Award of “Contribution in the Architecture” in the year of 1992. Honorable membership to Turkish architectures has been given to him and with this way, he has also “semantically” honored his “self-educated” colleagues.
Nail V. Cakirhan has published poetry books and one these books “My dear Halet” and consisted of his letters that he wrote to his wife, and of his articles published in the “Tan Newspaper” within the year of 1942 and an other one of these poetry books is titled as “Rather They Have To Live Longer”. He has also written and published an other book under the title of “Half Century In The Construction Art / Poetry Of The Traditional Architecture, Nail Cakirhan”, covering his architectural studies.
His architectural sensivity was consolidated with his social sensivity and became a meaningful combination with each other. With his own house, for which he had been awarded, he provided important contributions in growing of cultural sensivity within the region.
He always found and followed the most convenient methods, developed together other architectures, who he was working with, in order to solve the problems that were encountered in the projects, which he has personally designed and even calculated the construction cost studies. Nail Cakirhan’s ideology and philosophy, reflecting also to his life-style, is always felt within his working process.
The concepts of “Endeavor” and “Rights” are also practiced, while buildings are being raised up…
He is one of the monuments and plane trees of a generation that had provided important contributions to their era.
Nail V. Cakirhan is one of the self-praise reasons of Turkey’s social life, in which he lived nearly a century long.
We lost him on the date of 10 September 2008.
Ilhan Selcuk’s writing, titled as “He turned Akyaka into this state”.
Footnotes, which he was given to the Special Area/Environment Protection Authority and which form the basis for the Master Construction Plan of this region, have a great importance in the Akyaka’s development, beside his own efforts in the creation of Akyaka’s beautiful architectural texture.
If these footnotes, which form the fundaments of Nail Cakirhan’s architectural philosophy, will be followed and applied properly, Akyaka will deserve to be one of the world’s heritages.
About Aga Khan Award for Architecture
This award was established by the Aga Khan in 1977 and given every three years in different categories, in order to identify and encourage building concepts that are successfully addressed to the needs and aspirations of the Muslim countries and/or of the projects, which are related to Islam culture. Different than the other reputable architectural awards such as Pritzker Prize etc., the Aga Khan Awards are not kept limited only to the individual buildings and given to the projects on a more wide ranged basis, addressed to the needs of the Muslim communities.