Architect Gurcan Dere is the founder of Gurcan Dere Design Studio.
His studio is especially interested in architectural, interior, and landscape projects across the Aegean region and mostly focuses on rural and seaside living.


One of the features that describe you best, as we know, is your interest in making music for years and your notebooks with artistic content that you have dreamed and designed.
We are curious; were you always this good with a pen?

I used to draw on all the notebooks, tables, walls, whatever came before me in school days, as it is today. For me, drawing has always been a part of my life. Especially when drawing and designing things that are not real, you just step into a completely different world.

In addition to the many successful architectural projects that have your signature on them, you are very good at creating warm environments with your own style.
What material could you not give up using on a project?

In general, I prefer to use natural materials.
And I guess, rather than a material, I cannot give up the Aegean and Mediterranean spirit. We sometimes create this spirit with the help of a color, sometimes a material, sometimes a landscape, and sometimes a plant, and I cannot give up the help that creates this spirit.

We cannot say that you are modest in implementing the details. It is hard work to finalize the detail in architecture. Do you work closely with a team of artists?
Let us ask you a few tricks that you pay attention to with your meticulousness.

Our team is a versatile team, everyone has different interests and skills, which creates different colors and results. If we need to choose a detailed subject that we prioritize, we pay special attention to the textures of the plaster, they help to balance the simplicity we want to create in designs and at the same time the feeling of emptiness created by this simplicity.

You create Aegean houses, Aegean lives.
When you look at yourself, what are you most inspired by in the Aegean?

It is difficult to say a single thing, and it is difficult to explain this, as it is a lifestyle that must be experienced. It is about the sea, the coastal life, plants, the abundance of the table and its effects on people, and what they experience during the day… I am inspired by both my own experiences and the creations of other people who experience this life.

Designing and executing such projects often creates intense minds. What do you do to keep your mind open and relaxed?
Do you have routines?

I find this subject essential. Details, work schedules, designs, customers…
It is challenging to keep track of all of them.

The work we do is a long-term job, a project can be completed in at least 8 months from the beginning to the end, the results that motivate you and can be called rewards come to the end of the job and until this stage, keeping your motivation high for months is also an issue.

For this reason, even though we relax ourselves as much as possible, the realization phases of the projects are mentally very intense.
Whenever possible, I take walks in nature, which comforts me the most.

Your father is a sailor who has sailed through the Aegean Sea and a photographer, and your mother is a brilliant math teacher who is also a painter.
Can you tell us something about being the child of these parents?
Perhaps a state of mind or a memory that has flowed from them to you over the years. In our eyes, these stories are always a source of inspiration…

I can say that the common ground of everyone in our family is our fondness for Aegean life and our connection to the sea.

My father’s life choices have contributed to my life, mostly in understanding seamanship and the life, people, music, and food, so shortly, the life in the Aegean and the Mediterranean — especially from a romantic point of view.

My mother, who is a woman of the world world, loves to travel and is adventurous. She never makes heavy weather of anything and immediately dives into the things that excite her. She might be in Australia one day and in Myanmar the other. And the next day, you will find her in a race in the middle of the ocean.

I think I have my share of this belief in the feasibility of everything.

With the “Friends of YEK” series, we aim to introduce the precious people who add an Aegean beauty to life with their craftsmanship and elegance.

Click here to share their inspiration regarding nature, the Aegean, the art of living, and the very essence of creating.