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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 is diverse, working with professors, architects, civil engineers and students from different disciplines. The aim of the Architectural Recovery Team is also to connect knowledge from different universities, and institutions.  


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. More information about the different teams can be found under “project”.

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.

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 many volonteers. 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

Leyla jpg

Leyla van der Waarde

Head of Internal Relations | Co-Founder
Meric jpg

Meriç Kessaf

Head of External Relations | Co-Founder
Hena jpg

Hena Micooğullari

Head of Design

Turkish Team

Bengu jpg

Bengüsu Ibiş Güner

Burcu jpg

Burcu Köken

Academics & Research

Job Schroen

Academics & Education | TU Delft

Olivia Nguyen


Elif Ceylan

Head of Marketing

Hatice Görgülüoğlu

Head of Legal team

Jasper Omvlee


Yigit Demir Sariyildiz


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