We were very happy to have Emre Arolat as our first keynote speaker in the 1st Vardya roundtable. From his aspiration to become a car racer, to his collaboration with his parents and until his latest professional attempts to expand his architecture practice internationally, Arolat gave us an overview of his personal and professional development, with a focus on his understanding of context and specificity in architecture. Starting with a brief criticism on the capitalist context shaping the urban landscape of Turkey, he then juxtaposed his personal approach through two of his works: Sancaklar Mosque and Nora Mosque and Community Center Ajman. Pointing to his interest in atmospheric architecture, he presented these works as reinterpretations of the mosque structure. By understanding its fundamentals, he redefined the mosque in its contemporary form as a place of gathering and contemplation.