The only son of navy colonel Ali Bey and Sadberk Hanım, Architect Kemaleddin Bey was born in a two-storey wooden house a t Acıbadem, İstanbul in 1870. He started İbrahim Aga Primary School (İbrahim Ağa İptidai Mektebi) in 1876. However, his father was appointed as a clerk to the Cretan Ferik Hüseyin Paşa, so they moved to Crete and he went to a private school named “Suda Tershanesi” commonly attended by children of military officers. Kemaleddin Bey learnt French and Arabic there. After he turned back to İstanbul in 1882, he started to attend a new school “ Şems-ül Maarif ” in Şehzadebaşı. Doctor Rıza, Münif, Menemenlizade Tahir, governor of Aleppo Celal Bey, astronomer Hüseyin Efendi and the well known mathematician Mehmet Nadir were Kemaleddin Bey’s lecturers.
Kemaleddin Bey started his education in “ Hendese-i Mülkiye ” (today İstanbul Technical University) from second grade. He was more interested in architecture than engineering classes. He graduated from the school in 1891. On May 28, 1891 he was appointed as a teacher to Hendese-i Mülkiye Fenn-i Mimari to help Prof.Jachmund. In the summer of the same year, he was sent to Budapest and Vienne to acquire more knowledge about archtitecture. After he returned, he hired an office and started to design his very first works. By the order of the Sultan, he was sent to “ Charlottenburg Tekhische Hochschule ” (today Berlin Technical University) in 1895. He took education there for two years, then he worked in architeture offices in Berlin for two more years. In 1899, he returned to İstanbul and restarted his work in Hendese-i Mülkiye because Prof. Jachmund had left Turkey.
Kemaleddin Bey was appointed to “Harbiye Nezareti Ebniye-i Askeriye” as an architect. In the same year, he married Behire Hanım (daughter of the city parliament chairman). After a year, their first child Melika was born and four years later they had their second child Sinan. Sinan was educated as an architect, too. In 1908, Architect Kemaleddin Bey gave an advert to Tanin ( a newspaper ) with the purpose of having interviews in order to found Ottoman Architects and Engineers Community, and after its foundation, he took part in the management as the clerk. In 1909, he became Construction and Repairment Administration Manager in the institution entitled Evkaf-ı Hümayun Nezareti Sermimarlığı.
After his classes in Sanay-i Nefis Mektebi (an art school, Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University today ) were called off in 1911, he was appointed to the Engineering School for Professional – Architectural classes ( Fenn-i Mimari ve Demir İnşaat). In 1914 while he was still working in Evkaf Nezareti, he was appointed as a consultant to the Civil Government. In 1919,during the ministry of Vasfi Hoca, Kemaleddin Bey was dismissed from his job in Evkaf Nezareti, and then he opened his private office again. Moreover, Kemaleddin Bey took part in the community of Ottoman Architects and Engineers. After that, he started to give Professional Architectural lectures in Kondüktor Mektebi. In 1922, Kemaleddin Bey took an invitation from the Palestine council or Meclis-i Ali-i Ser’i-i İslamiye, which was headed by Jeruselam Mufti to restore Al-Aqsa Mosque (Mescid-i Aksa). He accepted it and the restoration started. Meanwhile, Kemaleddin Bey made his second marrige with Çamlıca Girls High School teacher Sabiha Hanım. Additionally, he quit his job in Evkaf Nezareti, because he was working on Al-Aqsa Mosque. In the same year, his second boy Kasım was born; nonetheless, he lived only one week. (Kemaleddin Bey gave to his boys the names of two honorable architects - Sinan and Kasım.) In 1925, Kemaleddin Bey was awarded with Honorary Fellowship by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), then he was appointed to Evkaf Müdüriyeti Umumiyesi as the director of Construction and Repairment.
In 1926, Kemaleddin Bey’s forth child İlhan was born, in the same year he was appointed to Sanayi-i Nefise (Fine Arts Institution) Committee as a chairman. Meanwhile, Ankara started to develop as a capital city, and Kemaleddin Bey contributed so much to this development with his architectural works. Gazi Primary Teacher Training School’s building (1926-1930), today serving as the building of Gazi University Rectorate, was Kemaleddin Bey’s last work.
Kemaleddin Bey died of cerebral hemorrhage in his temporary flat in the constraction building of Ankara Palace in July 13, 1927. Approximately, one month after his death, in August 8, the constraction of his last work Gazi Primary Teacher Training School was to be started.
Upon family members’ request, he was buried in Karacaahmet cemetery, but after a while his grave was transported to Bayezid Mosque. In 2007, with the authentic designs made by Can Çinici and Zeynep Mennan, it was turned to a mausoleum.
Kemaleddin Bey enriched his designs such as mosques, tombs, apartments, education buildings, train stations with Turkish architectural characteristics. He was one of the leading architects of the First National Architectural Movement. At the beginnig of 20th century, he designed many buildings, most of which were in İstanbul. As a conclusion, he has a very significant place with regard to the architectural shaping of Ankara as well as the whole Turkish Architectural History.