Former architect at ZHA, London
Former architect at Gehry Partners, Los Angeles
Saffet Kaya Bekiroglu (M.Arch [Hons], B.Arch, ARB, RIBA) is an internationally practicing architect, previously working at Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) as the project designer and architect of international designs on a variety of scales including several competition-winning projects such as the acclaimed London Aquatics Centre for 2012 Olympic Games and the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, in which Saffet is acknowledged as co-author. Saffet is also the designer for many of the product and furniture designs, such as for the critically-acclaimed Aqua Table.
Saffet established his own practice Kaya Design in 2017 with locations in London, Istanbul and Cyprus. His focus remains on pursuing an architecture of innovation, reflected in four exemplary academic projects for leading institutions in Cyprus including the Technology Center and new Student Services Building at Cyprus International University.
With a specific interest in the expression of smart architectural surfaces informed by inherent conditions and contextual data, Saffet’s designs organize multiple orders into architectural landscapes. He investigates space as a fluid medium, where continuous variations have the ability to generate an implied motion. In terms of design methodology, Saffet emphasizes the significance of intuition and experimentation, deliberately engaging with a diverse set of innovative design processes and media rather than favouring a singular technique.
Before joining ZHA, Saffet worked at Frank O. Gehry & Associates for five years where he was involved in the design and development of high profile, large-scale projects such as the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Lake Front Music Pavilion in Chicago’s Millennium Park.
Saffet received his Bachelor of Architecture degree at the Istanbul Technical University, and his Masters of Architecture with Honours from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). He has been a visiting critic, lecturer and tutor at various international architecture schools.