Design Incorporating Geometric Brick Pattern Modules and Mobile Brick Panels
A stack of four cubes, Zomorrod 11 stands firmly at the heart of a traffic junction in Tehran. The design work by Ákaran Architects has incorporated the use of geometric brick pattern modules following a strategy by which the exterior façade of the building stretches inside and forms many elements of the interior; from the lowest parking level at -5 through to the top.
The building consists of 5 entire floors of underground Parking, A Double height commercial ground floor and 6 Floors above containing state of the art offices with a private terrace on the first floor and a private roof garden on the 6th level. The brick concept of the outer Elevation layer carries on through all the building levels, as to make the interior volume and exterior layer inseparable entities.
The one-way street it overlooks on the south elevation connects two of Tehran's main north-south arteries, therefore the nature of the site's impact on the passer-by is affected by speed and haste. The Architecture has aimed for the drivers and pedestrians to pause, even in passing, and perhaps reminisce through a modern structure with ties to the culture's past. In line with this aspiration, the building is rather still from street level, where all the rushing takes place up to the 3rd floor; which is also the height of the neighbouring buildings. Up to that point, the brick modules are static, which also limits views towards the neighbouring sites. From the third floor to the 6th level, these modules become mobile as it rises higher and distances from the freneticism of the enveloping streets, with views opening up to the mountains and the city scape. Bricks screwed together, framed, and moving on rails along the glazed elevation of the building help the architecture to improvise an impression of the speedy surroundings of the street scape, while also expanding views towards the city from the inside.
The mobile brick panels not only provide an ever-changing image of the building on the outside, but they also enable the user to control the amount of sunlight that flows into the office spaces. Each panel weighs around 1000 kg and, nevertheless, is very easy to push along the rails fitted into the flooring. The mobile modules are designed and engineered to make them as lightweight as possible, using custom made hollow bricks screwed together. The building is fully automated and controlled by state of the art systems easily regulated via the ipads installed in each unit. The interior spaces are all ventilated by 4th generation VRV systems.
Traditional kiln baked bricks, was the chosen material that would bring a nostalgic sense of space to the building. The bricks were designed to be perforated in order to make them as lightweight as possible, both for the mobile panels (to ease their movement) and for the static parts of the building to minimize the weight imposed on the structure, and also to enable dry instalment using screws to put them into place. The office found a kiln site gone derelict and bankrupt due to a rapidly modernizing industry of machine made bricks that have made them less costly while losing their authenticity. Ordering a total number of just over 30 thousand bricks to be baked from a custom made could not only regenerated the kiln, and restored a number of jobs to the local workers but also, kept a minimal distance to source one of our main materials, ensuring environmental sustainability. The Kiln continues to produce.
About Ákaran Architects
Aspiring to create curious and interesting, yet highly functional spaces, Ákaran Architects was founded by Moeen Afzalkhani and Zahra Azizi in 2010. Their work strategy is that it is not a signature style in architecture that matters; rather, it is the essence of the created space and the continuation of an intriguing spatial dialogue with the environmental, political, social, and cultural context.
The Architecture, curiously responsive, is lined with the appropriate engineering collaborative every step of the way to ensure articulate buildings which can easily be read and understood, while maintaining beauty and immaculate craftsmanship.