From factory floor to penthouse suite
Based in Turkey and driven by the creative ambition of its interior architect chairman and founder Haldun Kilit, AHK is a world leader in the design and manufacture of luxury contract furniture, lighting, fixtures and equipment for the hospitality, residential and commercial sector. Wallpaper* travelled to AHK’s factory in Antalya to meet the man behind the brand.
The bespoke furniture, fittings and lighting fixtures that make up the interior architecture of a suite at the InterContinental Crowne Plaza in St Petersburg, the Emirates Pearl in Abu Dhabi, or the spectacular new Bulgari Resort & Residences in Dubai begin their journey at AHK’s hangar-like factory in Antalya, Turkey’s Mediterranean province.
AHK is, its founder, chairman and creative director Haldun Kilit will tell you, a proudly Turkish venture with materials, carpenters, craftspeople, designers and production teams all sourced indigenously.
‘All joinery, furniture, metal and fabric production is done in Turkey,’ he says. ‘This ensures our quality and cost control. Unless it is an urgent delivery or installation, we prefer to keep all our production local. AHK has its fingerprints on the most prestigious projects worldwide.’
But while the scale, ambition and reach of AHK’s operation is vast – to date, more than 200 hotels, business centres, residences, yachts and shopping malls in Turkey and the Gulf region are all fitted out to its aesthetically holistic, turn-key standards of contemporary luxury – the company’s attention to detail is minute.
AHK currently employs approximately 500 staff – from factory workers to architects, technicians and designers. ‘AHK is a design-to-build business that stands for innovation and modern manufacture,’ says Kilit. ‘The hotel business works to very tight deadlines, so we work hard to deliver maximum quality in a short space of time. But manufacture is more than just putting parts together. It includes coming up with ideas, testing principles and perfecting engineering.’
When Kilit is working on a new project (AHK’s portfolio now extends to Kenya, Morocco, the UK and the US) his team examines the location, the local lifestyle and culture, materials, textures and colours. ‘Because of AHK’s vast experience in the market, the company has an instinctive understanding of what a client is looking for,’ he says. ‘To create something from zero, to start a project with just a blank piece of paper and then see it completed is an amazing feeling.’