Project in Detail
Kourosh Rafiey, Tehran, Iran
rafiey architects, Iran
Shadow of ribbons
Panoramic ribbon, zigzagged structure and floating floors of the building illustrate the spatial and structural intervention into the project which had been already served as administration and exhibition of a sanitary ware company. However, the old building had been abandoned for a long time until our client intended to purchase it in order to renovate for sale.
The building is located in one of the central district of Tehran. This area of the city is full of car exhibitions .Therefore, the client expected us to design a new modern salable building for this kind of function.
After considering the various aspects of the task, initially we found out that the building has a worn out structure. Moreover, a large volume of walls constructed with heavy materials had caused a large amount of burden to the structure also the ceilings were constructed in joist block system which had a big burden as well. On the other hand, as economic point of view, this construction as a commercial building was too introverted and the openings were too small.
As a solution, we agreed that our first action is lightening the building by removing all the brick walls and heavy cement blocks .So we convert the building to a nude structure of beams and columns. Then a new independent and seismic resistant structure was designed and in the form of second layer was attached to the old one. When we were designing the new structure we decided to expose all the joints and beams because they were so huge and covering them led to omission of useful space also more voluminous walls. Second reason for exposing the new structure was intention to show seismic resistant system to the visitors and customers.
In the next stage, we did our best to design and construct a light and transparent building with utilization of glass in whole elevations. However, since the east light is sharp and penetrating we needed a shade especially because the extensive elevation of the building was situated at eastside. The designed shade looks like a panoramic ribbon separated from the main façade and hangs over the urban public space, so that pedestrians can observe the sky through the reedy space between the ribbon and the main facade.From another side of the street they are background for trees.
For floors and ceilings, the state of lightness is respected as well. With inspiration of a canvas painted with two colors of black by Ad Reinhardt we designed a striped texture in which we have two kinds of parallel cream ribbons, reflexible and irreflexible. With this trick we have gained a radiant surface which is reminder of a lake surface. For suspended ceiling we used a wire mesh to make it lighter like clouds because the height of the ceilings was too short and we needed something to lessen solidity of the ceiling.
Eventually, As an active element of the building, staircase was designed more exciting. Its sculptural form also color is so expressive and energetic for the people who will be working there.