Sheikh Bahaei st , Vanak , Tehran – 2011
Credit : winner of the selected design for construction
Our general vision in this project was to reach entirety through detail, meaning that contrary to the customary approach in designing towers and skyscrapers where one formal style is considered for the outer layer and is worked on akin to a sculpture, we commenced the process by designing the smallest parts of the project which were the (3mx3m) frames in the structure, while maintaining our desire to have a unique and monumental look. The reasons behind this strategy are:
First of all, the project’s structure, irrespective of the limitations it has caused, has become part of the visual memory of those living near or around the area or those simply passing by it regularly during the past 10 years. So with the right solution we can use the structure’s limitations as an opportunity to create a special architecture and divide the view’s proportion into more humane units.
Secondly, we regard the residents and beneficiaries as priority, and have evaluated everything based on their presence and human scale. Our original idea here, as opposed to the usual viewpoint, was that residents themselves should in some ways be contributing to the tower’s figuring, and also adjust ecological consideration such as how the light enters ventilation and view to the landscape. Inspired by and using Masuleh’s window-flowerpot as a traditional Iranian residential indicator, could both manage this and also link the frigid metal frames to the warm homely atmosphere and bring the flowers’ odour inside.
Designing the southern and northern fronts, we had two main goals. One of them was to have maximum visibility and view of the landscape and the other was for the structure to appear bare. To achieve this both the southern and northern front are covered with two crystalline narrow boxes which give the impression that the whole tower is standing on these boxes on 2 sides. The boxes form a combination of matte and reflexive transparent glasses with vertical louvers behind them.
The point in designing these louvers which are placed in the 3 middle frames of each floor is to control light entrance and view. These vertical in-line louvers with 40cm width and 2cm thickness, when open, do not limit your view of the outside and their changing rotating angle bring about the ability to control entering obtrusive light and also to ensure reasonable view.
In designing the western and eastern sides of the tower, which was the most challenging aspect of the process, the following factors were influential:
Our inspiration from the “Masuleh window-flowerpot” is so the openings on our windows are transformed into modern accordion doors (Folding doors) with inharmonious rectangular holes which cover the windows and “the pelargonium” below the window are basically located between the main windows and the accordion doors. (There is a 50cm gap in-between)
The windows division is so that one sliding window makes possible the ability to access the flowerpots and also allows for an odoriferous breeze to move inside. In hot summer days, when the doors are closed wind travels through the holes, passes into the flowers placed in the gap talked about and brings inside a fragrant zephyr. Noticeable shadows dancing on the floor during daytime because of these accordion doors is also worth a mention.
The doors’ mechanism is operated with hand like accordions.
The 3x3 frames in the structure’s façade are covered with four different types of windows and coverings and in placing each of them, the floor’s planning and use is taken into consideration. The four types are:
In most residential towers, the residents obliviously have an effect on the tower’s façade at night; because by switching their light on and off they change the façade’s graphics. By designing accordion doors on the windows, we have expanded the residents’ role in changing the view of the tower. From distance, these open doors represent ceased strips which are moving on the façade and with each change in state (open, semi-open, closed) based on each flat’s befitting light and ventilation adjustment, create an endless infinity of possible shapes for the façade.
Because the accordion doors can be opened and are placed on the façade’s surface, the change is both graphical and formal.