Problem – Imagine a city full of houses that has neither courtyards nor open spaces, the main reason for this issue could be marketing strategies for building owners. Due to the demand for architectural marketing, the client may believe that what can be sold is buildings, not yards or trees. The historical district of Mashhad is a bright image of the city that has been mentioned; the urban fabric has evolved through a systemic process over the past 60 years. This process replaced a major part of void spaces with mass volumes which is more of gradual elimination of qualities and superseded program quantities.
Introduction – The allocated site to this project with a 124 square meters area is located in one of the historic districts on a limited-width blind alley called Sarshoor. Due to the high value of land in this historic district, mainly constructed buildings are residential and hotels which are being sold to non-native clients. Revenues from construction have increased so much over the past 20 years. The neighborhood has seen the highest land use in its 500-year history. The non-native client of the project, by obtaining a permit for a 5-unit residential building with a 100% occupancy level on 6 floors, intended to sell it to non-native buyers with the highest possible profit.
Strategy and solution – Based on the common construction project procedures in historic districts, contemporary buildings are constructed regardless of context and program, which leads to numerous residential buildings with similar types of plans and inappropriate facades. In this regard, from the beginning of the design process in order to find solutions, the answer to the main forces of this project was settled to context and also dialogue with the client.
The historic district in the center of Mashhad is in process of conversion to surfaces with approximately 100% coverage by tall buildings. Therefore, the relative, substitute, and duplicable solution in this dominant construction flow could be the mass subtraction in such a way that the subtraction provides the quality to inside-outside spaces; even if, the amount of these subtractions in a building would be 43 square meters.
Location Mashhad, Iran
Client Masoud Soleimani
Team Javad Khodaee, Abbas Fadaee, Ali Azarian, Mohammadsadegh Hashemi, Farajollah Sadeghi, Azam Soleimani, Reza Ashraf Yazdi, Masoud Erfanian, Ahmad Farahi, Mona Rashidi, Sousan Shabani, Mostafa Delbarian
Photo Diman Studio, Abbas Fadaee
Collaborators Masoud Soleimani (Construction), Morteza Kahnamouee (Structure), Mohammadreza Zarrinkhoo (Electrical), Mahdi pezeshki (Mechanical),
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