Ersen Gursel was born in 1939 in İstanbul. Following İstanbul Vefa High School he studied architecture at İstanbul Academy of Beaux-Arts. On graduation in 1962, he became assistant teacher in the City and Urban Planning department until 1973.
During his academic career, he researched and studied on the conservation of historical sites and settlement, urban planning and city development plans. He made method researches on the preservation of Side Antique Site and Golden Horn and Neighborhood, designing the layout of Istanbul City Planning and Recreation Area are among the scientific studies. During 1966 and 1967, Gursel has been invited to Spain with Government scholarship for the observation of architecture.
Ersen Gürsel won the first prize in ” Urban Planning of Side Antique Site” competition with Nihat Güner and Mehmet Çubuk in 1969. He continued his practice with Aktur Datca and Aktur Bodrum Residence Complex in 1973.
Between 1978-1980 Ersen Gürsel has been the project manager for Sultanahmet and Vicinity planning for The Development Bank of Turkey, in Istanbul. In 1983-84 he made historical researches and studies on as well as tourism settlements analysis for Algeria City Center. In 1985, he continued his researches on touristic establishment planning, hospitality designs and hotels franchising, recreation centers in the Pacific Islands and United States. Gursel has extended his researches on new settlement areas and touristic places from 1985 to 1990, in Soutern Coast of Spain, Greek Islands and Russia.
He is a visting teacher at Istanbul Technical University and University of Mimar Sinan Architecture Department.
Ersen Gursel won with Haluk Erar “Aydin Dogan Foundation City Architecture Award” for Izmir Konak Square and Environs Project in 2005.
He is the member and board of consultants member of Istanbul Technical University History of Architecture and Restoration Department, the member of T.M.M.O.B Istanbul Chamber of Architecture, Foundation of Architecture Turkey, board member of Turkish Timber Association, and the chairman of Istanbul Independent Architects Association. He is also the jury member of various national competitions.
Gursel continue his carrer since 1987 at EPA Architects and Urban Planning Office.