Istanbul Technical University – Housing Research & Education Center


In the 1950s, the ITU Faculty of Architecture began researches on traditional housing architecture and many important and unique works were completed by some of our very valued faculty members. Since the 1960s, ITU Faculty of Architecture has conducted a wide number of both theoretical and applied housing research studies, directly primarily towards Istanbul and its environs, has held a number of scientific meetings, and has published widely on this subject. During the seventies endeavors also once again turned towards research into traditional housing but now these studies tended to be of an interpretive, rather than descriptive, nature and a number of doctoral theses were written on these subjects. Works on the subject of housing continued with the organization of Housing Panels and during this time frame topics related to urbanization and the problems of low-income housing were noteworthy. During the seventies, having the support of TUBITAK [Scientific and Research Council of Turkey], the scope of the research turned towards the subject of housing standards.

The establishment of the Med-Campus Housing Network in 1995, supported by the European Community, has notably strengthened the infrastructure of these projects. Broad-scope research on housing for low-income groups is especially beneficial in terms of its use towards the acquisition of a statistical pool, [Housing Information System HIS] is underway and directed towards the acquisition of information that has both national and international dimensions.

Implementation stages, from housing culture to housing technologies, and from housing sociology to housing economics, the university has stimulated the creation of a broad accumulation of specialized knowledge in both the faculties of Architecture and the City and Regional Planning Departments.

In the Habitat II meeting held in Istanbul between 10-14 June 1996, Faculty of Architecture organized four workshops on topics related with İstanbul: City Identity, İstanbul throughout History, housing for low-income groups, Shelter for all versus sustainable development. Workshops are organized and presented by members of the faculty in the meeting attended by internationally reknown researchers in the area.

The massive influx of populations to major city centers, itself a factor of the growing industrialization centered in these cities, has caught the Turkish cities unprepared. Because the country has been unable to provide new settlement areas or to create new urban centers a dramatic housing problem has emerged. In spite of the fact that there has been an increase in research devoted to housing, much of the research conducted to date has not been multi-faceted and because it has not been of the Research-Design Implementation type, the housing problem a continued to be an important and actual issues. Foundation of a sustainable organization becomes critical in order to establish the continuity of such efforts, to increase the knowledge presented in the area and to divert this knowledge towards common goals.

Knowledge accumulated through the nationally and internationally supported projects on the subject of housing by the Faculty of Architecture of the Istanbul Technical University has led to the establishment of TUBITAK/ICTAG Housing Research Unit established in 1998 through collaboration with TUBITAK in Istanbul Technical University Faculty of Architecture. The unit evolved as ITU Housing Research and Education Center in November 2002, and earned the title of Center for Research and Development  in January 2011.

HREC is among the institutional members of European Network for Housing Research [ENHR] since 2004.


Topic areas

Housing Policies – Housing Design – Housing Technologies – Activities – Research – Education – Organization of Scientific Meetings [Seminars, Conferences, Workhsops] – Publications – Consultancy – International Relationships

Within this framework the establishment of HREC provides

  • To permit nation wide utilization of the knowledge accumulations of our universities and to develop this information base so that it can be utilized and implemented by both public and private sectors.
  • To develop a Housing Information System and distribute this information by Internet.
  • To conduct applied research in a multi disciplined environment, to address the housing problem not in a limited fashion but within a multi disciplined and multi national working atmosphere, thus allowing the coordination of those disciplines.
  • To develop an exchange of information at international dimensions and to create a research center at international levels that is equipped to research a housing problem such as that experienced by Turkey at its every facet.
  • To permit nation wide utilization of the knowledge accumulations of our universities and to develop this information base so that it can be utilized and implemented by both public and private sectors.
  • To organize scientific meetings at the international level;
  • To distribute research findings.
  • To develop concrete proposals to be used in solving the country’s housing problems.


Prof.Dr Yurdanur DÜLGEROĞLU YÜKSEL    Director

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Yüksel DEMİR                            Vice Director

Prof.Dr. Gülçin PULAT GÖKMEN                      Executive Board

Prof.Dr. Alper ÜNLÜ                                              Executive Board

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Aytanga DENER                        Executive Board

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Engin EYÜBOĞLU                     Executive Board

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Ercan YÜKSEL                            Executive Board

Assoc.Prof.Dr. Fatma ERKÖK                            Executive Board

Dr. Meltem BASLO                                                 Research Assistant

HREC hosts 8 research groups

Urbanization, Migration and Housing Policy – Planning and Design of  Housing  Areas – Housing, Environment/Ecology and Infrastracture – Housing Technologies / Finance and Cost – Housing For the Low Income – Traditional and Vernacular Housing – Disaster Housing – Gated Communities

Research Projects

“Research for a model for sustainable spatial and social transformation”, 2011 [ongoing]

“Increasing The Effect Of Women’s Role In Post Earthquake Housing And Settling Processes By A Participative Model”, 2008

“Researcher’s Night”, 2006 (FP-2006-Mobility 13)

“City Architecture In Between Past and Future” 2004

“Analysis of Different Settlement Processes as a Result of Migration From Rural Areas into Urban Centers”, 2003

“ITU Housing Research and Education Center Project of Infrastructure Development”, 2001 – 2003

“A Research On Evaluating The Socio Economic And Spatial Structure of Armutlu Squatter Area Which Has Been Formed in Istanbul Technical University Area”, 1999

“Comparative Study of Urban Localities of Low-Income Socio-Economic Groups of Istanbul and Sao-Paulo with Emphasis on Housing Problem”, 1998

Med-Campus Housing Network, 1995

International Scientific organizations

HREC “…and Housing” Conference Series [since 2003]

Atelier on Vernacular Architecture: Cumalikizik Workshop and Summer School, 2004

Doctoral Studies on Housing Symposium, 2008

New Housing Researchers’ Colloquium [w ENHR], 2010

Urban Dynamics & Housing Change Conference [w ENHR], 2010

OIKODOMOS – Workshop about Housing and Proximity, 2011

Private Urban Governance & Gated Communities, 2011

World Habitat Day Activities [since 2012]

National Scientific Organizations

Gated Communities Workshop, 2008

Gated Housing Conference: New Lives, Spaces and Boundaries, 2010


1995 – 1996: MED-CAMPUS Housing Network with University of Newcastle, The Queen’s University of Belfast, Technion Israel Institute of Technology, University College Dublin and supported by EU

1994-1996: Academical Collaboration between University of Newcastle, CARDO [Center for Architectural Research & Development Overseas] supported by British Council

“Housing Problems”, Workshop, 1998

Co-ordinators: HREC and TU Berlin

“3rd International Workshop on Low-Income Housing in City Center, Comparative Study on Istanbul and Sao Paolo”, Workshop, October 16-18, 2000

Co-ordinators: HREC, University of Sao Paolo and Polytechnic University of Turin

“Housing in Istanbul”, International Summer School I, August 24-30, 2001

Co-ordinators:  Conall O’Cathain [Queens University of Belfast], James Potter [University of Nebraska], Yurdanur Dülgeroğlu Yüksel, Gülçin Pulat Gökmen, Handan Türkoğlu [Istanbul Technical University]

“Architecture of the City: Its Past & Future”, International Summer School II, May28- June 4, 2004

Co-ordinators:  Karen Franck [New Jersey Institute of Technology], Peter Kellett [University of Newcastle upon Tyne CARDO], Gülsün Saglamer, Ahsen Özsoy, Yurdanur Dülgeroglu Yüksel, Handan Türkoglu, Neslihan Dostoglu, Gülçin Pulat Gökmen [Istanbul Technical University]

4th International OIKODOMOS Workshop: “Housing and Proximity”, May 2-6, 2011

Co-ordinators:  HREC and East Mediterranean University, Leandro Madrazo [Ramon Llull University], Gülsün Sağlamer, Ahsen Özsoy, Orhan Hacıhasanoğlu [Istanbul Technical University]

ENHR Workshops

Urban Dynamics and Housing Change, Istanbul 2010

WS-23: Housing & Cities: Security, Privatization & Control

Co-ordinators: Gülçin Pulat Gökmen, Rowland Atkinson, Ahsen Özsoy [ITU]

‘Mixité’: an urban and housing issues?, Toulouse 2011

WS-09 : Housing and Urban Issues in Developing Countries

[WG – Housing in Developing Countries]

Co-ordinators: Christopher Watson [University of Birmingham] and Yurdanur Dulgeroglu Yuksel [Istanbul Technical University]

WS-23: Housing and Cities: Changing Social and Spatial Boundaries

[WG - Housing and Cities: Security, Privatisation and Control]

Co-ordinators: Renaud Le Goix [Université Paris 1], Gülçin Pulat Gökmen, Ahsen Özsoy [Istanbul Technical University]

WS-25: Reviewing architecture and the residential design in the urban context – a critical inventory

[New WG - Residential Buildings and Architectural Design]

Co-ordinators: Birgit Jürgenhake [Delft University of Technology], Jana Zdrahalova [Czech Technical University], Ahsen Özsoy [Istanbul Technical University]

Housing: Local Welfare and Local Markets in a Globalised World, Lillehammer 2012

WS-24: Common Interest Developments and Gated Communities: Conflicts between Global and Local Contexts

Co-ordinators: Renaud Le Goix [Université Paris 1], Gülçin Pulat Gökmen, Ahsen Özsoy [ITU]

Invited Speakers / Seminars

“Housing and Urbanization” Seminar, September 30, 1998

Co-ordinators: HREC and TU Berlin

Peter Herrle, Peter Berten, Georgije Nedeljkov [TU Berlin], Gülden Erkut, Handan Türkoğlu, Yurdanur Dülgeroğlu Yüksel [Istanbul Technical University]

“Comparative Study Of Urban Localities Of Low-Income People Of Istanbul And Sao Paulo, With Emphasis On Housing Problem” Seminar, February 11, 1999

Co-ordinators: HREC and Polytechnic University of Turin

Andrea Piccini, Letizia Vitale, Nuccia Comoglia [Polytechnic University of Turin], Gülden Erkut, Hülya Turgut, Nuran Zeren Gülersoy [Istanbul Technical University]

“Participation and Housing” Conference, April 12, 2004

Henry Sanoff [North Carolina State University]

“Small Change: Design As a Process of Enablement”

Nabeel Hamdi [Oxford Brookes University]

Conferences, etc.

“Symposium sur Les Politiques du Logement: Les Realisations Les Projets en France et en Turquie 1950-2000″ May 24-25, 2000, Istanbul

“Doctoral Studies on Housing”, May 20-22, 2008, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Co-ordinators: HREC and East Mediterranean University, HERA