Traditional Iranian textile design inspires winning competition entry for Reyhan Gate
A competition to design a set of gates to a residential complex in Mazandaran Province, North Iran has been won by two Italian architecture practices: Waltritsch a+u and Rndr Studio, both based in Trieste. The two firms worked together to conceptualise a graceful and elegant gateway which would be a welcoming gesture to those arriving home.
Waltritsch a+u explains: “Constructing a gate to a residential complex might be considered a privilege for an architect, as it allows him to get in touch with the most intimate side of people’s everyday life. The entrance will warmly receive the people back home, and bless them before they leave for their daily activities in the world.”
The winning concept comprises a series of polished reinforced white concrete columns with corrugated corten steel plates. The upper corten steel sections are angled at varying degrees for a dynamic aesthetic. The architects have looked to various elements of Iranian design for inspiration for this gateway, from carpets to clothing and other textile products.
These various elements have been referenced in the final concept with punctures across the form through which light can penetrate, casting shadows across the ground in traditional patterns often found in Iranian design. These miniature motifs are coupled with thick stripes of shadow from the parallel bars of the main gate structure.
Of their local research Waltritsch a+u notes: “Of course as foreigners, we are not too familiar with customs and habits of people living in the Mazandaran Province. But even though it might be a debatable point, we think that to be a non-local person might present certain points of advantage, as you are not involved with many discussions and sometimes tensions, that many times strongly influence the decision process when it comes down to make a building and decide how to develop a territory.”
The competition was organised by ASE Company in partnership with Islamic Azad University and Rehyah Complex Management.