Burak Asiliskender

Burak Asiliskender

Kayseri, TR



Burak Asiliskender is a Professor at Abdullah Gül University School of Architecture, and head of the Department of Architecture, since 2012. He is also one of the co-founders of the Argeus Architects.

He holds bachelors degree in architecture (Yildiz Technical University/Istanbul), master of science degree on architecture (Istanbul Technical University) and doctor of philosophy degree on architectural design (Istanbul Technical University).

He studies on architectural history and design approaches of modern movement; modernization and industrialization practices of Turkish Republic, identity and cultural policies, and teaches on architectural design and theory. He has several papers, articles on the modernity, identity, space and place concepts, modernization and especially their spatial reflections on Turkey and Kayseri at early times of Turkish Republic, published national and international wide. 

He is currently involved in the design and implementation projects for the restoration and adaptive re-use of former Sümerbank Kayseri Textile Factory for AGU. 

He is one of the international members of the Docomomo (International Committee for Documentation and Conservation of Buildings, Sites and Neighborhoods of the Modern Movement), EAHN (European Architectural Historians Network) and TICCIH (The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage).



Abdullah Gul University, Kayseri, TR, Professor

Prof. Dr.
Head, AGU Department of Architecture

May 2012 - current

Argeus Architects, Kayseri, TR, Co-founder

Apr 2011 - current


Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, TR, PhD, Architectural Design

Modernity and Housing; Spatial and Social Change in Kayseri by Industrial Enterprises of Turkish Republlic
Asiliskender, Burak, 2008. PhD Dissertation, Istanbul Tecnical University /Inst. of Sci. and Tech., Program of Architectural Design, Istanbul.

Modernization experience after the founding of Turkish Republic could be comprehended as a shifting process on spatial and social identity, rather than a political re-construction. It was aimed to renovate whole life styles and stereo types by revolutions. Thus, the identity of space, urban form and social order were modified by the industrial settlements in Anatolian cities, founded under the ideology based on creating transformation and providing the development. Kayseri is the city in which the State initialized the industrialization by abovementioned aim. Tayyare (Plane) Factory (1926) -as the first establishment of the Turkish heavy industry-, Sümerbank Textile Factory (1935) -as the first state-based industrial organization-, and Sugar Factory (1955) affected the social order, urbanization process and the construction of the space. These factories introduced new approaches to housing and to daily life by including educational, sportive and cultural facilities. Especially their residences and the houses constructed by workers cooperatives led to a chance in the urban identity and motivated the urbanization of the city by the contrasts of the form and spatial order. Turkish modernization could be comprehended as unique experiment due to the contradictions between the individual based discourses of modernity phenomenon and the fact that industrialization of the early republic was state-based. According to this approach, this study aims to criticize the effects of these three industrial settlements, established in Kayseri by state, and their housing settlements on the modernization process; spatial and social change of the city, through the modernization experience of early Turkish Republic.
Keywords: Modernization, Kayseri, Housing, Urbanization, Identity

Sep 2002 - Oct 2008

Istanbul Technical University, Istanbul, TR, MArch, Architectural Design

Developing ‘Modern’ Identity on Architecture at the Early Years of Turkish Republic: A Case Study of Sumerbank Kayseri Cotton Factory
Asiliskender, Burak, 2002. Master Thesis, Istanbul Tecnical University /Inst. of Sci. and Tech., Program of Architectural Design, Istanbul.

The re-formation of Turkey and its natives by republican regime in 1920s is aimed in line of the western ‘modern’ identity. For the sake of this modernisation, a series of revolutions was assembled in the whole country. Modernisation, which embodies social and economic developments, is also a process of a space-based chaos of the society. The authority integrated modernisation and industrialisation and established various state-based organisations for this aim, as Sümerbank. Every factory, anchored to the state, was not only an industrial institution, but also showed a conceptual transformation of space in modern understanding. As an example, Sümerbank Kayseri Cotton Factory is the first factory established by Turkish Republic. It is constructed by Russian funds and labourers. In this factory, the universal values idealised by the modern thought were used both in construction process and management. In this respect, it had been a reflection of architectural identity proposed by Turkish Republican modernisation by the help of industrial developments. In this study first, a theoretical investigation of the concept of identity in association with the space-place experience and historical evaluation of the modern movements in the first years of the Turkish Republic will be made. Afterwards, throughout the case study of Sümerbank Kayseri Cotton Factory and its residences, the architectural ‘modern’ identity understanding of the era will be discussed.

Keywords: Identity, Modernisation, Space, Place, Experience

Sep 1999 - Jul 2002

Yildiz Technical University, Istanbul, TR, BArch, Architecture

Sep 1994 - Jun 1998

Areas of Specialization