Skip to content

About us

Empowering earthquake-affected communities through collaborative innovation aiming to provide safe and sustainable homes.

The foundation Architectural Recovery Team (ART) was founded at the Delft University of Technology and started as a voluntary student initiative, focussing on the architectural recovery of impacted areas after earthquake disasters. Our organisation aims to empower earthquake-affected communities through collaborative innovation and providing safe and sustainable housing solutions.


The Architectural Recovery Team consists of a diverse team, working with professors, architects, civil engineers and students from different disciplines. The foundation is split into sub-teams that focus on areas affected by recent earthquakes. These teams work on various projects and approaches, respecting political and cultural aspects.

Our Mission

Everyone has a fundamental human right to housing, which ensures access to a safe, secure, habitable, and affordable home – UN Habitat

Our mission is to support reconstruction and preventive measures in areas affected by significant earthquakes and to carry out whatever is related or may be conducive to this. 

Through collaboration with experts from different fields, including students from the TU Delft, we aim to co-create sustainable and affordable modular designs that prioritise local materials and cultural considerations. Our innovative and collaborative approach, supported by various professionals and specialists, ensures our plans are realistic and practical. We analyse initiated designs, build a network, and work towards a prototype.

After testing the prototypes and contacting institutes that could help us realise the design, we start the building process. Our approach is from an architectural engineering perspective, considering each crisis site’s unique geographical, political, cultural, and social aspects. Our ultimate goal is to provide solutions for long-term buildings that can withstand extreme situations, significantly impacting the lives of those affected by natural disasters. 

How we started

“As architecture students, we had to do something to help get people a home again” – Meriç Kessaf

After witnessing the devastating effects of natural disasters, the founders of the Architectural Recovery Team, Meric Kessaf, Leyla van der Waarde and Meriam Sehimi, were inspired to take action. Their shared passion for humanitarian architecture led them to create an initiative dedicated to finding urgent solutions for long-term humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of natural disasters.

In order to combine our knowledge of on humanitarian architecture, the architectural recovery team, at that time called the Syrian Turkish Architectural Recovery Team (START), organised a workshop week. The week was a start to kick off the initiative, where students, experts, and professors worked together to create possible solutions. The workshop featured various lectures on different topics, and the interdisciplinary groups created concept designs. The workshop concluded with twelve impressive designs with multiple approaches currently being analysed and developed further. ART is also building connections with local stakeholders to obtain support for the initiative. Through its innovative and collaborative approach, ART significantly impacts the lives of those affected by natural disasters.

By combining architectural techniques and knowledge from various fields, ART aims to create practical and realistic solutions for those impacted by natural disasters. Over the last few months, the group has grown to forty students. including architectural engineering. earth sciences, psychology, civil engineering, and more experts. ART takes a collaborative approach, leveraging the knowledge and expertise of its members across different fields.

Meet the Architectural Recovery Team

The Architectural Recovery Team consists of enthusiastic students, professors, architects and engineers. 

Management Team

Hena jpg

Hena Micooğullari

Head of Design
Leyla jpg

Leyla van der Waarde

Head of Internal Relations | Co-Founder
Meric jpg

Meriç Kessaf

Head of External Relations | Co-Founder

Operations Team


Job Schroen

Academics & Education | TU Delft

Alizé Massonnet

Administrative coordinator

Turkish Team

Coordinators Team

Bengu jpg

Bengüsu Ibiş Güner

Design & Budget
Burcu jpg

Burcu Köken

Academics & Research

Akal Aras

Head of Marketing

Hatice Görgülüoğlu

Legal Expert

Operations Team


Olivia Nguyen

Head of acquisition

Jasper Omvlee


Gioia Benini


Design Team

Lena Gürkan Saul

Lena Gürkan Saul

Betül Anıker

Betül Anıker


Shreya Sen


Romina Gürkan Saul


Tom Stalenhoef


Saja Al Khamissi


Tjeerd Prins

Moroccan Team


Nabil Bouddount


Sterre Joore

Branding and Organisation
Meryam 2

Meryam Ajari

Funding and Organisation

Soufiane Atif

Managment and planning

Silvia Pencheva


Antonios Mavrotas


Yolanda de Ramon Caamano


Katharina Niesing


Zoe Holiday

Do you want to help us with our first prototype?
We are looking for people who can support us

Currently, the Architectural Recovery Team is developing the design for the prototype, an important component of our long-term housing strategy. To ensure the effectiveness of the design, it is imperative that we conduct testing. To be able to do this, we plan to construct a 1:1 scale prototype at the Delft University of Technology in December 2023. In early February, this prototype will be transported to Hatay, Türkiye, where it will be tested on-site, whilst the first family lives inside the house.

To bring this ambitious project to life, we are actively seeking funds, which is why we’ve launched the Architectural Recovery Team crowdfunding campaign. You can make donations ranging from 10 euros to 5000 euros, for us every contribution counts and supports us. Donations will play a crucial role in bringing our vision to life and making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.

We want to thank you in advance on behalf of the whole Architectural Recovery Team and with this you’re also supporting the communities that are heavily impacted by the earthquake!

No, thank you.
100% secure your website.