Eldem, Sedad Hakkı (b. August 31, 1908, Istanbul – d. September 7, 1998, Istanbul), architect. His work in design and application, architectural theory and education left a lasting mark on twentieth century Turkish architecture. He designed several buildings for the Koç Group and Koç family, including the Admiral Bristol Nursing School, the Atatürk Library, the Kıraç Mansion and Rahmi Koç House, also devising restoration projects for the Azaryan Mansion housing the Sadberk Hanım Museum and the Koç Holding AŞ Nakkaştepe Complex, where the
Vehbi Koç Foundation headquarters are based.
As his father was a diplomat, he attended elementary school in Geneva and completed the first years of his high school education in Munich. In 1924, aged only 16, he began his higher education in the Architecture Department of the Istanbul School of Fine Arts (later the Academy for Fine Arts [AFA], Istanbul State Academy of Fine Arts [ISAFA], Mimar Sinan University [MSU], now Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University), which did not stipulate a high school diploma for entrants. After graduating with a top grade in 1928, he worked in various architectural offices in Europe. After returning to Turkey in 1930, he exhibited his work at AFA and the Turkish Hearths Center in Ankara. In 1931, he was responsible for the design and erection of the Turkish Pavilion at the Budapest International Fair and also joined the teaching staff of the AFA as an assistant. In the same period, he opened his own architectural office, beginning a professional career which would last many years.
From 1941 to 1946, he was head of the architecture department at the academy and lectured on architectural projects and construction for 46 years. He was later appointed head of the Chair on Surveying and Restoration. He was also a member and president of various organizations in Istanbul, such as the Council for the Protection of Ancient Monuments (1941-45) and the High Council for Immovable Antiquities and Monuments (1962-78). After retiring from the academy due to an age limit in 1978, Eldem continued teaching design and in 1979 he was awarded the title of honorary doctor by ISAFA.
Eldem received many awards, among them the Turkish Ministry of Culture Award for Art and Culture (1983), the Aga Khan Award for Architecture (1986, for the Zeyrek Social Security Administration Buildings) and the Chamber of Architects Grand Award (1988). He also won first prize in many architectural project competitions.
A number of essays and books have been written about Eldem, including: Sedad Hakkı Eldem: 50 Yıllık Meslek Jübilesi (Sedad Hakkı Eldem: 50 Years in Architecture), which was published to mark 100 years since the foundation of MSU in 1983; and Boğaziçi Yalıları (Mansions of the Bosphorus; 1993-94), which was compiled using materials from an archive left by Eldem and published in two volumes by the VKV.