A reflective approach

RYRA Studio aims to create a new paradigm for Iranian architecture

by James 16 November 2011
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    Located on Vali-Asr street, this office sits in Tehran's city centre. The location is defined by the buzz of the people and a constant sense of motion from the traffic. Here the architects didn't want the building to be indifferent about its surrounding events, so they took this dynamic and transported it onto the building facade. The building facade was seen as a city skin that should not be disrupted by different materials. Instead, the architects aimed to emulate the urban flow by choosing a continuous surface, then slashed it and pulled it back towards the core.

    Indeed, the building looks wrapped in overstretched plastic bands, creating the illusion of an actively moving shell. This shell in both side is covered in white marble which have been cut horizontally. Marble was chosen here for its durability and 'glossiness'. The sunrays, highly prevalent in Tehran, reflect off the white glossy stone, beautifully brightening up the building's environment. Aesthetics aside, the reflective quality of the stone also decreases energy consumption, a point yet to become standard in Middle Eastern architecture where air conditioning is still seen as the norm. Small openings in the facade minimise the heat entering the building, while in winter they work in reverse by keeping the warmth in.

    The building restrictions in this region only allowed for a two-storey build; upon the client's request there is a large commercial area at ground level and two separate offices on the first floor. Adequate parking areas, due to municipality codes, are also considered in the basement floors.  

    The stone slopes channel light into the building, creating a unique and peaceful ambience which keeps you far away from the hustle and bustle of the city next to the skin. In the urban context of Tehran, and Iranian architecture in general, which largely features industrial materials like glass or Alucobond cladding, it is an innovative approach to stone. Here, stone is considered classic architecture. With this project, the architects wanted to change the rules and show how this traditional, natural material can be used in a contemporary way. The project was totally finished in September 2009.


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