Multiple Arsh Design Group projects awarded Grand Memar Prizes in Iran
Arsh Design Group has completed the reinvention of two office and residential blocks in Tehran, both of which have been recognised by the Grand Memar Prize in Iran. As the city has experienced a dramatic escalation in land and property prices, the firm relates that ‘investors demand architects to design for a spatial scenario, whereas maximum allowed envelope is built to maximise the profit return of the investment’.
In order to accommodate these ‘demands’, the Checker Box Office Complex and Dollat II Residential Complex have been designed using the lowest cost materials available combined with ‘innovative construction techniques’. The exterior shader grid on the front façades have been completed using one of the cheapest wood products available on the market – Narrad wood – commonly used for supporting frames and for construction workers to stand on whilst working. Arsh Design Group place much emphasis on the importance of the frontal façade, noting that: “the dynamics of the real estate market…intensifies the importance of the façade design in the overall process of conception, development and implementation of buildings, since [over]investment on this single façade is the way to make the building standout in its context as unique and…architecturally attractive.”
In continuation of the economic choice of building materials, the back façade of Dollat II has been coated with painted cement to keep building costs to a minimum. The use of bright colours and a variation in window types and sizes have been included in an attempt to keep the building architecturally appealing. The roof, a left-over shared space in the previous property, has been subjected to a series of design strategies to convert it into a privately used roof garden.