New home in Esfahan functions both as one house and four separate living units
The house is located in a unique site: an ancient district in the heart of the Iranian city of Esfahan, surrounded by houses has been built 40 to 300 years ago and according to the municipality laws whole 100% of the 75 sq m land should be occupied. The owner is a low-income family including retired parents, 30-year old son and 35-year old daughter (both not married) living together, based on this the house is considered in four floors: the basement and ground floor for the old parents, the first floor for the son, and the second floor which belongs to the daughter. Considering the family economic level, materials with cheapest prices have been chosen and the cost of construction has been estimated to be about $270 per sq m, while a normal house construction in Iran costs about $350 per sq m.
The result is 288 sq m in four levels as a family complex. In addition, due to the request of the client, all four floors should work as a single unit house as well as three independent units, therefore the connecting stairway has been designed as a neighbourhood space so that it became a shared space and an obstacle between in and out as well. Furthermore it surrounds the inner parts such as a thermal and audio filter decreasing energy dissipation. The architects call this obstacle space, the same as in ancient houses in these districts, a vestibule ('Dalan') or foyer increasing introspection and privacy.
For the reason that the house doesn't have any green spaces and yards, the unusable areas below and above the stairway have designed - like central yards - as a medium to extend the light and sky view inside. It has been shaped to the elevations with the indicating 'dalan' and small yards to create a modern skin compatible with the ancient context and in harmony with the alley façade. The project was completed in April 2010 and won 2nd place in a MEMAR award for residential projects in Iran.