BUILDING "B" | Designing in Teheran | competition entry

Groundfloor and 1st floor: Commercial units 2nd to 4th floors: Offices 5th to 6th floors: Offices 7th floor: Residential
This was an ideas competition for a mixed use building located in Teheran, Iran.
Architecture today evolves towards the harmonious merger between traditional elements (that are environmently friendly and adjusted to human scale) and the modern concepts of urban life. A mixed use building, which would bring a modern brand into a highly traditional culture, that has given some of the masterpieces of ancient architecture and art, must be therefore a blend of these two elements: modern and traditional. We are using the Benetton concepts of: communication, diversity, social involvement and modern statement and we are joining them with the elements of an environmently responsive local architecture: the inner courtyard with garden (chahar bagh), the passive cooling system provided by the “windcatcher”- wind towers (badgir), together with modern systems of recycling gray water within the building.
The central focus of a traditional house is the garden- around which the life within the building is organised, all the spaces are arranged around it: it becomes the spinal cord of the house; the nucleus of the building is the shade offering, green space of the inner court garden. We used this idea for distributing the built spaces around the central courtyard- just like vertebras -, so that the garden remains the heart of the house and can be admired from any floor level. The building responses and transforms itself – it is not a complex form, but a complex answer to its use: on the ground level and first floor, the commercial use, a portico opens towards the street, offering shade and inviting the passer-by to a closer glance.
The upper office levels provide each a covered terrace for the employees, offering shade and clean air, as well as fantastic views, both over the inner ground floor garden and the city. The top residential floor has its own terrace as well. On the top of the building rises the windtower- providing a cooling system for the offices and the commercial units. The building’s finishing materials and cladding are chosen according to the traditional methods of sun shading: filtrating the light by using perforated metallic meshes with geometric patterns which protect the terraces as well as the curtain glass walls of the office floors. The X shaped structure (metallic or reinforced concrete) and also the box like shape of the floors provide maximum stability for the building.